Working remotely is the new trend that seeks to lessen the security risks. Unfortunately, these seem to be an issue that never goes away. Be it as it may, you can manage to combat online security threats using the following ways.
Today, very few businesses don’t work remotely and many that do use it for the better part of their working hours. Some companies may not see the need for working remotely yet they have employees that take work home or work from conference venues, hotel suites, and while commuting; all these are examples of remote working.
Accountability is a major issue that is synonymous with such casual form of remote working more so when trying to figure out how the business IT networks used work. It is a matter that often goes unnoticed when laying down cyber security policies and procedures. Failure to address this issue only places companies and organization at risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Remote working, whether used as a mandatory element in the running of operations and getting work done or a formalized arrangement, can leave the IT network and systems vulnerable to attacks and breaches.
The first step is to know which areas in the running of the business are at risk, only then can you effectively manage the security or remote working. After that, run an awareness-raising campaign that will enlighten the workforce of the various actions they may do that may compromise the safety and the step to take that protect the business’ systems and networks.
The cyber security policies put in place should include various risks associated with working remotely and the procedures and guidelines to follow when working away from the office. If employees need to hide their IP when working, there should be a clear process to follow. Clear steps should also exist if they need to dispose of potentially sensitive digital data.
There should also be an explanation of the actions to be taken if an employee working remotely is believed or found to have compromised the company’s security, and which disciplinary actions should be taken.
Below are some tips that provide an excellent starting point:
The second thing to do is password protect the devices. Ensure you use a strong password and encryption. Lastly, install mobile management apps such as AirWatch that will give you or your employee’s administrative rights to secure and recover the lost mobile devices.
It may be a complicated matter since your workforce may feel that this invades on their personal use of the gadgets. However, your cyber security policies should be structured in a manner that addresses these issues; making cyber security protection mandatory restricting the use of personal devices when conducting critical business, or ensuring the employees have access to and use company owned devices.
Mimecast is one of the many applications that you can install that help; it’s also important to make the staff aware of the vulnerabilities associated with email. Train them on spotting cyber threats such as phishing emails and set guidelines for the type of information that should and should not be shared via email (such as passwords and logins).
As such, the cyber security and remote working policies should explicitly stipulate that employees should avoid using public Wi-Fi when handling sensitive business. Ensure there is a policy in place that explains the systems and actions that should be taken in case a staff member needs to use public Wi-Fi.
An alternative which some companies may want to explore is to use a VPN. Doing so gives much better protection and may be a good tradeoff between convenience and security when using public Wi-Fi. Fastest VPN Guide’s site lists multiple reputable providers everyone can consider. And though it may not seem like it, remember that VPN speed matters a whole lot too. A slow connection can make any remote work painful to the point of an employee not wanting to do it at all.
Let the staff know of the security implications of using such computers and that they adhere to set guidelines that include: