The era of the COVID-19 pandemic has given a hike to the employees working remotely. This hike opened many doors for intruders and hackers to break into your company’s data. This instant shift to remote working led to an increase in implementing cybersecurity practices with utter zeal and dedication.
Without complete security policies and IT asset management working in strong collaboration with the security protocols, letting your team work remotely is of high risk. You can easily get exploited by cybercriminals and your company data can be at stake.
To ensure complete security to your companies’ data, and make the remote workforce fully secure from hackers, here is a curated list of cybersecurity measures that your remote team should abide by.
1. Create data security policies
The foremost step to safeguard the company from a cyberattack is to implement security policies and measures. You need to work with your IT team and managers and come up with a strong security policy that ensures the company data is handled at its best, including security protocols and measures through which the company will comply with these protocols. All these security policies must be handed over to the authorized individuals in a paperback format, as this helps them to keep a close eye on things.
2. Ensure secured network connections
When an employee accesses the company’s database or sends an email to co-workers, it is mandatory that it is done via a secured internet connection. An unsecured internet connection is highly prone to attack and results in a data breach.
You need to make sure that your employees use updated antivirus and anti-malware protection and Firewall to safeguard them from cyberattacks. A remote worker is likely to work from any location and might get tempted to use open Wi-Fi networks. These public Wi-Fi networks are easily prone to attack and must be avoided while working on the company’s database. Also, to ensure further security ask your remote workforce to use the company’s VPN.
3. Use of HTTPS and SSL certificates to safeguard the website
The new trend that keeps data safe from intruders is the use of SSL certificates. When you install an SSL certificate on your website, the HTTP on your website turns into HTTPS with a green padlock ensuring a strong encryption protocol. A website with HTTPS will ensure that the communication channel is secured and only encrypted data flows through it, which can be decrypted using only the private key.
A few discounted price SSL certs are available like Cheap Multi Domain SSL Certificate, low-priced wildcard SSL, or single-domain SSL that you can install on your website to ensure full security. Even your remote workforce should use websites that have green padlocks to keep their devices secure.
4. Equip employees with the right tools
Spam filtering tools and password manager tools are a few tools that a remote employee can count on. Spam filtering tools, password manager tools, and a USB process blocker are a few tools that a remote employee can count on. It is the company’s responsibility that they provide the remote workforce with such tools and technologies.
When an employee is equipped with the relevant tools, he/she need not worry about security issues, rather they can fully concentrate on their work. Also, make your remote workforce update their software, plugins, and themes frequently, this fixes the minor bugs and tightens the loose and security.
You can even conduct regular workshops for your remote working staff via online medium, this lets them see and enquire how security measures can be implemented with ease and they can know how they can handle an attack.
5. Employ strong password policies
When security breaches are at their peak and the need to implement security protocols for both office staff and remote staff is at its peak, there are still certain employees that use passwords like “12345”, “abcde” or “qwerty”. This is simply unacceptable.
The company needs to ensure that its employees are using unique and varied passwords. The password can be a combination of letters and numbers, you can use upper and lower cases or mix random combinations to make the password least guessable. Always use varying passwords for different accounts.
You can even provide your employees with password manager tools that keep track of all passwords and encrypt them in a digital data vault.
6. Implement multi-factor authentication
To take things a step further, you can think of implying multi-factor authentication. This is one of the most secure ways of safeguarding your account from being hacked.
In multi-factor authentication, the use of a single password is not enough to unlock your account. You will need to go that extra mile and enter the passcode received on another device or use your biometrics in addition to the regular password to login into your account. This extra step masks the account and any intruder if by any chance guesses your password will not be able to crack through that second layer of security.
7. Provide employees with company devices
All the above points fail if your remote employee is working on a home or personal device. Mostly, these devices are less secure and open to use by all which makes them more prone to cyberattacks.
These home devices might be connected to unsecured network connections, have older antivirus protection versions, and many such flaws.
It should be made mandatory that whether an employee is using the company’s database or sending even an email to a co-worker, he/she needs to do that through the company’s device. You can keep a track of the IP address and give access to only company-provided devices to access the database.
The key takeaway is that the “insider attack” by the open end and poorly secured remote working devices need to be diminished. There is no such thing that can completely eliminate the threat of cyberattacks but by abiding by these aforesaid policies you will surely become less prone to attacks. If you fail to implement these standard norms, you can even hire a professional who can look into the security needs of your company, even at the remote level.