If you employ remote workers, your IT staff has a unique challenge keeping your organization safe. Fortunately, using a combination of best practices for cybersecurity, user awareness campaigns, and a strong policy will help to keep data safe.
New advances in mobile technology and networking have given remote workforces a boost, and while policies for most remote workers generally depend on manager or company preferences, most businesses must accommodate a mobile workforce on some level…and here’s where the challenge lies.
Things such as emails, vulnerable software programs and work documents are all tools that cybercriminals can use to infiltrate your company’s network. These remote workers, no matter how convenient they might be, are the weak link in any company’s security plan. Cybercriminals know this, which is why they often focus on these workers. So, what do you do to find a balance between the convenience of remote workers and the importance of network security? Here are eight way that you can secure your remote workforce:
- Use Cloud-Based Storage – One way to make your remote workers safer is to use cloud services that use two factor authentication. These often have a higher level of encryption, so any data that your workforce uses is not only accessible, but also protected.
- Encrypt Devices When You Can – When giving mobile devices, including laptops, to your remove workforce, make sure that the hard drives are encrypted to protect the data on the machine. However, not all security programs will work with devices that are encrypted, so make sure that you double check all the tech specs before loading them up.
- Set Up Automatic Updates – You can also take the steps to automate any software updates, which means as soon as an update is released, your remote workforce will get the software on their devices. This can also be done via Mobile Device Management software.
- Use Best Practices for Passwords – You should also make sure that you are implementing good practices with passwords. You should, for instance, safeguard against stolen or lost devices by requiring that all employees use strong, complex passwords. You should also request that your team puts a password on their phones and laptops, since these items are easily stolen.
- Create Secure Network Connections – Also, ensure that your remote employees are connecting to your network by using a VPN connection. Encourage your IT staff to only allow your remote workers to connect to the VPN if their system is set up and patched correctly. Also, make sure that they are not connecting if their security software is not updated.
- Increase Awareness – Instead of attempting to restrict personal use of the internet, you should instead encourage education about internet use. Create and enact a cybersecurity policy, ensuring that it covers concepts such as phishing, scams, and social engineering tactics.
- Use Encrypted Email Software – Checking business email offsite is quite common, even among those who work on-site. Thus, it is extremely important to use a secure program for email.
- Use an Endpoint Security Program – Finally, if you haven’t already, implement an endpoint security program. These programs can be remotely launched and managed from one location. This software should also include components to keep unpatched programs, safe.
Yes, remote workers can be a challenge for your IT staff to manage, but when you use a strong policy, good practices in response to cybersecurity, and a comprehensive campaign for user awareness, you and your staff can keep all of your data safe.
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Data security policies need teeth to be effective
Bottom line: If you have a data security policy in place, you need to make sure that it’s up to date and contains all of the necessary elements to make it effective. Here are 10 essential items that should be incorporated into all security policies: 1. Manage employee email Many data breaches occur due to an
- Sales Staff Targeted by Cyber Criminals
Companies that cut corners by giving cybersecurity training only to their technical staff and the “big wigs” are throwing out the welcome mat to hackers. Cyber criminals know that the ripe fruit to pick is a company’s sales staff. Often, the sales personnel are clueless about the No. 1 way that hackers “get in”: the
- “BYOD”? Mobile Security Tips for Small Businesses
Many employees have come to expect that they should be able to use personal smartphones and other mobile devices at the office. This creates problems for IT managers. A company’s IT staff may have a solid grasp on company-issued laptops, desktops, and even mobile phones, but it is almost impossible to control the results when
- Congress Breached via P2P Filesharing…AGAIN!
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Congress is still considering the Informed P2P User Act, a law that would supposedly make it safer to use peer-to-peer file sharing software, an effort that is similar to banning mosquitoes from sucking blood. It just isn’t happening. The only foolproof way to prevent accidental data leaks via file sharing programs is
- How sharing Files puts You at risk
Okay, so you were taught to share your toys in the sandbox, but little did your parents know that years later, sharing your files could result in disaster. People share personal and business files all the time on their computers without realizing the security risks. Not all data breaches occur due to malicious events. An annual