The year 2020 has seen a huge shift in remote working. The Coronavirus pandemic and the associated restrictions of everyday activities caused a huge percentage of workers to switch to home working, almost overnight.
Some businesses already had robust remote working policies in place and were able to move to a fully remote model fairly easily, while others had to build the process from the ground up. However there are positives and negatives with working remotely; a large remote workforce opens up a lot of avenues for hackers targeting company systems and data. The fallout from a cybersecurity breach could have disastrous consequences for your company.
While some businesses are resorting to their original work routine, remote working is predicted to increase and businesses will need to identify and reduce the risks associated with it in order to realize the many benefits remote working has to both businesses and employees.
Here are 5 basic security tips to help you build a solid IT system for a remote workforce.
- Conduct a risk assessment
A full risk assessment on your IT infrastructure and working practices will give you an end-to-end view of the potential security risks. If you do not have the knowledge and resources in-house, you can use a professional IT company to assess and spot weaknesses in your systems to improve your security.
A risk assessment should be carried out periodically since technology develops, software updates, and hackers are always improving their methods to circumvent your security measures, so your IT security needs to evolve with the changes as well.
- Ensure your IT staff doesn’t get overwhelmed
Having an in-house IT resource can be great, but if they are overworked and under-resourced, that is a risk to your IT security. A cost-effective way to avoid this is to engage with a managed IT services company. They can provide much-needed advice and expertise when you need it most, letting your IT team focus on the tasks they need to without worry. Find a good Yukon IT provide to ensure that your IT needs are taken care of and nothing falls through the cracks.
- Use a secure VPN
Remote working means you have no control over the internet connections your employees are using. They may be using an unsecured home network or the free wifi at a local coffee shop. You just don’t know.
A VPN encrypts the information sent back and forth from the user’s connection, and their location is protected. By requiring and providing a VPN for your employees, you can ensure that your confidential company information is not being accessed due to unsecured networks and connections.
- Develop a BYOD policy
There are huge cost and productivity benefits to allowing employees to use their own devices for work, but with it comes a range of potential security issues too. A BYOD policy needs to be developed to provide your employees with clear rules about how, where, and why they access work systems with their own devices.
Once you have developed your policy, ensure that your employees undergo training on them before they are allowed to use their own devices.
- Embed IT security in your company culture
Your IT department or managed service provider can only do so much. Employees are the top users of your internet, so no matter what role they play in your business, the more they understand the methods and types of cybersecurity, the better protected your company will be. Make it clear that the security of your company IT is a team effort, not just that of the IT department.
Remote workers are increasingly targeted by sophisticated cyber attacks and phishing attempts. Now that many companies are implementing remote work, this is only going to increase. Some of them are easy to spot, but others are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and more effective.
By making IT security training and ongoing development an essential part of your company training. In addition to securing devices and systems access, you also need to educate them on how to identify potential phishing attacks or other attempts to target them.
While encouraging remote work comes with its own level of risk, you can still build a strong IT system to keep your systems and sensitive data secure. It starts with conducting a complete assessment of your business to identify weaknesses, and routine security training, since your security is most effective when employees enforce the security measures.