Your remote workforce may be putting your company’s data at risk without evening knowing it. As remote work continues to be an option for many businesses, data security is even more paramount. Data breaches, identity fraud, and a list of other consequences can come from having employees work remotely.
Common Concerns and Solutions for Remote Workers
Concern: Home internets typically rely on weak or non-existent ISP network protection allowing virus to easily travel from a home system to corporate systems.
Solution: Require VPN access to the corporate network for internet traffic and have all employees change and use a strong, secure password for their home network’s equipment.
Concern: Personal PCs, tablets, phones, etc are easily attacked and a security risk without the proper security software.
Solution: Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions allow IT to remotely control, update or wipe devices. MDM solutions can be used on company devices and personal devices.
Concern: Almost all breaches come from an end user clicking on something they shouldn’t (phishing schemes) or forwarding corrupt emails.
Solution: Build a comprehensive cyber security awareness program. Educate employees on how to detect and avoid phishing emails and what steps to take when they suspect a device has been infected or when a device is lost or stolen.
Concern: VPN’s, firewalls and other cyber security software are steps to take to protect your remote workers, but all of those can be compromised by the use of weak passwords.
Solution: Develop password policies that incorporate use of passphrases, frequent password changes and bans the use of personal information and repeat passwords. In an environment of using multiple passwords, consider a secure password-storing program versus writing passwords down on sticky notes or notes app on a mobile device. Incorporate multi-factor authentication practices.
Internet of Things (IoT) Devices
Concern: More and more houses are filled with smart devices that connect to the internet. IoT devices are not yet caught up with the necessary security needed to prevent a hack to a shared network.
Solution: Network segmentation through two connections, VLANs, VRFs, etc can help ensure the traffic stays separate.
Concern: Sensitive information is often shared back and forth on a daily basis leading to identity fraud, ransomeware attacks, theft and more.
Solution: Consider using email encryption platforms, voicemail encryption platforms, and secure, file-sharing platforms.
95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. – IBM
With all of these unique security challenges, companies must implement clear and comprehensive policies, software and tools to ensure the safety and integrity of company data. And, as more workers look for opportunities to go remote, businesses will have to find ways to balance cybersecurity with the ability to promote increased productivity for all their employees. Remote workforces should function identically to how they would in a traditional office environment.
As your telecom and IT solutions expert, REACH takes pride in keeping you connected. We can help you obtain a secure remote workforce by leveraging our expertise and resources to increase your productivity, security and compliance. Connect with us today by calling Valerie at 715-330-4200 or filling out our contact form.