Remote Workers Mean Cybersecurity Issues
Remote work is increasingly common in various fields. Technology has made it possible for employers to reduce the overhead involved with insisting that workers be on-site, and for employees and contractors to work from the comfort of their own homes. Remote work also means no longer being limited by geography in a company's choice of hires. Even workers who are on-site frequently take work on the road with them. Working together from afar has never been so easy, or so popular.
But if your employees, whatever their status, are working off-site, you are dealing with issues of data security specific to remote work. That means that special attention needs to be paid to remote workers' situations and conduct.
Minimize Remote Risk
- Prioritize Training
- Take Time with Remote-Work Policies
- Stay Up-to-Date
- Use Password Managers and MFA
- Use a VPN
- Use a Mobile Device Management system with BYOD
The advantages of remote work do not have to be overshadowed by the risks. Those risks do have to be addressed fully and appropriately, however. Below are some strategies for doing so.
1. Prioritize Training
When it comes to cybersecurity of any sort, training staff on its importance and impact is key. Employees, whether remote or on-site, will feel more invested in the matter of cybersecurity if they understand what is at risk, and feel they are an active part of addressing the issue. This is especially important because common attacks such as phishing scams are directly dependent not on technical vulnerabilities, but on people's behaviour.
When it comes to cybersecurity of any sort, training staff on its importance and impact is key.
2. Take Time with Remote-Work Policies
Policies governing what employees may and may not do when working outside of the office must be written and communicated clearly, and enforced uniformly. This is especially so if your company relies on cloud-based solutions.
3. Stay Up-to-Date
Keeping your company's computer systems up-to-date is a simple, first-line move in securing your data. It is also overlooked with surprising regularity. Programs should be upgraded regularly, and data backed up reliably. Security audits, preferably external, should also be a regular activity.
4. Use Password Managers and Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
When it comes to generating and managing passwords, using a password manager is preferable to leaving login management to your employees. A manager generates passwords that will generally be much harder to crack than human-generated ones, and offers secure password storage. Backing this up with multi-factor authentication adds further security. MFA—usually in the form of two-factor authentication (2FA)—requires users to input a unique code, sent via text or email, after they have entered their ID and password.
5. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
While a virtual private network is an investment, it offers considerable protection by disguising IP addresses and encrypting data while allowing remote access to your network. It essentially creates a separate, private network for every device that connects to it.
6. Use a Mobile Device Management system with Bring Your Own Device
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies allow employees to use their own mobile devices to connect to their employers' networks. If your company has a BYOD policy, make sure that you also have a mobile device management (MDM) system. An MDM system will keep your company's data separate from your employees' personal info, and will also help find lost devices. Data can also be remotely wiped from devices via MDM.
Remote workers can create security risks. Get in touch with CITI and we will set up your remote staff infrastructure including security awareness training and multi-factor authentication.