Working remotely offers many benefits for both employers and their staff, however, keeping security in mind is essential. As hacker sophistication continues to rise, it’s important to ensure employees understand their importance of observing standard cybersecurity best practices.
Here are five tips for staying safe online while working from home.
1. Keep office gadgets and laptops safe
If using company-owned mobile devices or laptops, encryption – e.g. BitLocker – should be implemented to protect company data in the event a device is lost or stolen. If this is the case, they’ll need to understand the importance of keeping these devices safe as well as the consequences of losing them. A lost business laptop can be a treasure trove for hackers.
Strong passwords and Mobile Device Management should also be encouraged for any device that has access to your network.
2. Ensure your security protection is up to date
Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, and a solid Spam Prevention tool go a long way to protect devices. When staff is working remotely, automatic updates to these tools may not be as seamless as when in the physical office and connected to the domain. Be sure to formulate a plan for installing regular updates to keep all devices protected.
3. Connecting to the company’s network securely
While using a tool like Citrix is preferred from a security standpoint, if it’s not already a part of your disaster recovery plan and remote access solution, it’s not a quick or inexpensive implementation.
Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection is a secure way of establishing a connection to a private network (e.g. the company’s server) via a public one (employee’s home). When working remotely, your team can use VPNs to not only connect directly to your network but also prevent any kind of third-party spying and consequently avoid data breaches.
4. Avoid public Wi-Fi
Public networks are dangerous for the simple reason that they are vulnerable to malicious attacks. While it’s tempting to work remotely from cafes and use Wi-Fi there, the risk is too great. Instead, tether your mobile phone to your laptop if you need to access company data on the go.
5. Review your cyber security policy
Whether it’s in an emergency or not, management should make an effort to regularly update the company’s cyber security policy and properly communicate it to the staff. In addition, be sure to update the company’s cybersecurity policy to include steps to follow if user’s activity exposes the company’s data or network to hackers.
In turn, the staff should also be aware of all policies and understand the risks associated with working outside of the office.
Perform a trial run of working remotely before it’s required. Ensure everyone knows their credentials, can connect successfully, has the proper tools.
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