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Important Security Strategies Your Remote Working Team Should Use
A 2020 survey revealed that 51% of employed Americans have needed to transition to remote working because of the current pandemic. Other surveys show that over 70% of employees now want more flexible remote working opportunities.
This sudden transition has forced many businesses to adopt policies and protocols that’ll help tighten their online security. Remote employees are more prone to various cyber-attacks, as most rely on personal computers and basic home internet to work.
With companies shifting to more long-term remote working arrangements, the need for advanced security upgrades and safeguards has become even more apparent. So, do your employees work remotely? Are you concerned about cybersecurity and data breaches? Then it would help if you made the following security moves.
Understand why security upgrades have become so important
Why should you secure your remote workers’ online activities? Your data is at greater risk now than ever. According to IBM’s 2021 Cost of Data Breach Report, the total average cost of a ransomware attack hit $4.62 million, which is even more expensive than the average cost of a data breach, which hovered around $4.24 million. Cybersecurity Ventures also estimated that businesses would fall victim to ransomware every 11 seconds by 2021 (last year) and even less from 2022. Today, cybersecurity issues are costing businesses significant downtime and productivity loss, as 34% of businesses hit with ransomware needed almost more than a week to regain access to data lost.
Establish and enforce a data security policy
Working remotely means your workers would be relying on their personal computers with varying levels of online security features. Although this can easily lead to internal security breaches, such breaches are far more likely to be a result of your employees unknowingly mishandling sensitive business data rather than willfully handing over such information to the wrong “hands.”
Establishing and enforcing a data security policy is probably the easiest way to avoid this kind of data breach. Take the time to draft a security policy document that stipulates all the security protocols you want your employers to adhere to in very clear terms. It also helps to indicate the consequences of failing to comply with the security policy.
Support employee compliance with the right security tools
It’s not enough to prepare a security protocol document and leave your employees to do their best to comply. It’s important to consider that not all your workers may be security-inclined or savvy with online security features. That’s why you need to support your workers to comply by providing them with the right security tools.
Your IT department can help your workers download and install the latest security features, from antivirus software to VPN and password managers. You can also ensure that your workers have direct contact with your IT department to foster more effective communication whenever they require assistance.
Your IT department can take advantage of more advanced and secure ways of conveying information across networks, as the traditional options are no longer effective in terms of security. A good example of a secure option is the SD-WAN. Here is an article on SD-WAN explained to give you a better understanding of this tool.
Strategies for Remote Working Team: Use applications to monitor data usage
It helps to have applications in place that can monitor and manage data transfer. This way, you can reduce the risk of data theft. For instance, many employers allow their staff to work with personal cell phones for business communications. Therefore, they take advantage of employer-controlled applications that can remotely disable business email functionalities whenever a worker leaves the company.
Have a contingency plan to manage risks
Even with your best efforts, the unexpected can always happen. For example, workers can lose their laptops or work phones containing sensitive business data. It is crucial to have a contingency plan in place that’ll help you prevent any potential threat to your business security or, at least, minimize the damage. In this case, a good contingency plan may include effective ways to track the missing gadget and delete sensitive files remotely.
Strategies for Remote Working Team: Encourage the basics
With your workers away from physical supervision, you need to encourage them to adopt the basic security tips while at home. For example, keeping work computers away from family members, regularly updating their computer software and programs, using strong passwords, avoiding public Wi-Fi, etc. It is also important to remind your workers to avoid opening suspicious emails and links and to have reliable backups of all your work files.