How to Stay Secure While Working RemotelyAUTHOR: Jennifer Monroe
A few years ago, working remotely was a luxury. Today, it has become a must for workers, as organizations across the globe switch to remote working models to ensure continuity and protect their workforce from the COVID-19 pandemic. This period of uncertainty exposes you and your company to new kinds of cybersecurity threats. That’s why it’s crucial to think about how to stay secure while working remotely. Here are some practices and tips to help you stay safe and secure while working outside the office.
1. Ensure Data is Safe and Secure in Every State
When you have a geographically distributed workforce, sensitive company data may be shared, stored, and transmitted using a wide range of devices. Ensure all confidential data is always safeguarded whether it’s being shared on various collaborative platforms, sent via emails, or stored on servers. Invest in a robust encryption software solution to protect data both when it’s in storage or transmission across different platforms and devices. NordVPN is a perfect example of an encryption software solution that both you and your employees should use while working remotely.
2. Keep Your Employees Informed
Regularly update your remote teams on the latest tactics and threats being used by hackers to take advantage of online vulnerabilities and get hold of confidential company data. Ensure they are conversant with phishing strategies for harvesting usernames and passwords as well as dangerous links that install malicious programs on their computers. Employees should always be watchful and conversant with the right steps to take if they detect their devices have been compromised.
3. Use a Protected Email Program
Protecting your email is an important part of safeguarding your data while working remotely, particularly if you send or receive sensitive information. Employing an email encryption service such as Tutanota and Virtru can help you safeguard your communications. The good news is that the two services provide free basic encryption plans, which are compatible with your current email system. Encourage your teams to secure their emails, as well.
4. Enforce Utilization of a Centralized Storage Solution
If your business has already adopted cloud storage, you should ensure all your remote workers are using this solution. Communicate often with your employees on the importance of using a centralized storage service to ensure no one is storing files locally. The biggest advantage of using a centralized storage solution is that you’ll always have a back-up of sensitive data even if your local files are stolen, damaged, or lost. The firewall connected to your centralized storage service will also provide your important files with maximum protection.
5. Ensure Firewalls are Enabled and Updated
Firewalls serve as a line of defense to keep threats from getting into your system. They establish a wall between your computer or mobile device and the internet by locking communication ports. This keeps malicious software from getting in and can prevent data from escaping from your device. The operating system of your device usually has a built-in firewall. On top of that, most routers come with built-in hardware firewalls. You just need to enable them and update them regularly. But if yours lacks a built-in firewall or you just want some extra protection, there are many affordable third-party firewalls out there. Do your research and get a secure firewall for your device.
6. Bolster the Security of Your Video Conferences
While working remotely, you may rely on Video Tele-Conferencing (VTC) software for all your meetings with your employees and clients. Cybercriminals can hack and monitor your video conferences to steal sensitive company data. They can also put your employees through personal and potentially distressing threats and harassments. Here are a few tips to secure your video conferences:
- Make your virtual meetings private by restricting entry with a password or leveraging the waiting room to regulate guest access.
- Put security requirements into consideration when choosing vendors. For instance, if end-to-end encryption is required, you should choose a vendor that provides it.
- Regularly update your VTC software with the newest software updates and patches
7. Make Your Working Environment as Comfortable as Possible
While working remotely, it’s important to create a favorable work environment for yourself. Get an ergonomic chair for your home office and ensure your LEDs are providing you with comfortable lighting levels by controlling them with the Arduino board.
By strengthening your cybersecurity strategies, you can effectively alleviate threats to your systems and data while working remotely. Encrypting your data, keeping your staff up to date on the latest cybersecurity threats, using a centralized storage solution, and securing your video conferences are some of the strategies that can help your business become remote-ready.