If you own or manage a business, chances are your company’s work culture has drastically changed over the past year. Even if you were one of those employers who resisted the idea of letting their people work from home, the ongoing pandemic must have compelled you to change your perspective. Here are 4 Cybersecurity Tips to Manage a Remote Workforce.
The good news is that the flexibility of working at a comfortable pace from their homes will motivate your employees to excel at their work. In fact, recent studies have shown that working from home can help boost employee productivity. Also, it’ll go a long way to reduce operational costs, such as office rentals, utility bills, etc.
The Downside of Remote Work
But supervising a remote team isn’t a bed of roses. To begin with, you need to find the right software applications to let your employees communicate and collaborate on various projects. Also, you need to devise ways to boost their morale amidst the turbulent circumstances of the pandemic.
However, the biggest challenge associated with remote work is ensuring data security. When your workforce is in the office, you can implement the right security protocols to prevent data breaches and cyberattacks. This becomes difficult when your employees are connected to their home WiFi and log into their company accounts using personal computers.
According to a recent study by Deloitte, companies across the globe have had to deal with more cyberattacks in the past year. Also, in 2020, there were more than 1,000 data breaches in the U.S. that exposed over 155 million confidential records.
Needless to say, if a cybercriminal lays their hands on sensitive data related to your customers or business, it could wreak havoc on your company. That’s why business owners and employers need to adopt suitable cybersecurity policies for remote work.
To begin with, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help from a trusted IT services firm, such as Synergy UK. They’ll help you install the necessary malware protection software on your employees’ devices. Also, they can provide you with reliable off-site backup services to protect your data.
But even if you’ve hired a dedicated IT support company, you should take additional steps to safeguard your business against cyberattacks. In this blog, we’ve outlined a few powerful cybersecurity strategies for your remote workforce. Let’s take a look.
1. Use a VPN Connection
In most cases, home WiFi networks aren’t equipped with the robust security enhancement that you’d take for granted at your office. This means it’s easier for cybercriminals to access an employee’s home WiFi and install malware or unleash a ransomware attack.
That’s why it is wiser to ask your employees to set up a VPN connection whenever they’re working. Also, make sure you follow the same practice. A VPN or Virtual Private Network encrypts any data your employees might share with each other or with you, thus preventing potential security threats.
2. Provide Dedicate Work Computers
If you’ve got the resources and budget, it’s a good idea to provide your employees with laptops, desktops, and any other devices they might need to perform their job. This is a more secure alternative to letting them work on their personal computers.
Make sure their work devices have the necessary protections, such as antivirus, firewall, etc., to keep cyberattacks at bay. Also, advise employees to not let their family members and friends use their work computers.
3. Prioritize Data Backup
The last thing you want is to lose access to crucial business data in the event of a ransomware attack. Apart from damaging your reputation, it could also adversely affect business continuity. The best way of avoiding such a scenario is to backup your data on an off-site server or a cloud.
If you’ve hired a professional IT service or cybersecurity firm, make sure you consult them to explore various data backup options. Watch out for additional facilities, such as automated backups and data recovery.
4. Organize Cybersecurity Training
Ultimately, all your efforts at implementing various security protocols would be futile if your remote workforce doesn’t know how to detect and deal with a cyberattack. That’s why it is crucial to educate your employees about the different types of security threats they should watch out for.
Also, you should handhold them through the process of setting up a VPN connection. Next, share a list of best practices they should follow while communicating with each other and sharing key business data. Lastly, don’t forget to provide them with a contact to your company’s Incident Response Team.
What steps are you taking to protect your business against security threats while working remotely? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.