Remote work is on the rise and many businesses utilise remote workers even if this is not the result of a formal arrangement between employer and employee. Employees are increasingly likely to take work home with them or complete tasks while travelling on business trips as advancements in technology have made it so easy to do so.
All businesses should therefore have cybersecurity procedures in place that take remote workers and mobile data into account, whether remote and mobile work is part of their company culture or not. Experts at Syntax IT Support London provide some tips to help your business stay secure even as your employees work away from the office.
- Protect devices
Personal devices could be lost, stolen or infected with malware as employees use them for business outside of the workplace. To protect against loss or theft, full disk encryption software should be installed on laptops to prevent anyone from accessing sensitive data even if they have access to the device itself. Apps can also be installed on mobile devices that allow you to erase data remotely if a mobile phone or tablet goes missing.
To protect against malware, a good anti-virus software should be installed on all devices and employees should be trained to protect themselves by avoiding malicious links and emails. It should also be ensured that all devices used for work are updated regularly, including the apps and software installed on them. Activate automatic updates so you won’t have to rely on employees to regularly perform updates themselves.
- Use cloud applications
Encourage the use of cloud applications when employees are working remotely, as these applications can usually keep data more secure. Office 365 and Google Apps are both good options and provide users with a range of productivity tools.
- Encourage strong passwords
Encourage employees to use strong passwords to access their devices as well as online accounts. If they can go beyond a strong password and use two-factor authentication or a biometric security system, even better. Many new smartphone models offer facial recognition or fingerprint scanners as security options.
- Produce guidelines for public WiFi
Employees should avoid using public WiFi networks for work when possible as they can be vulnerable to attacks, but sometimes staff may not have much choice if they are staying in a hotel or connecting to the internet while using public transport. You should provide guidelines for these occasions, instructing employees on what activities and systems they can access while using public networks. By prohibiting staff from accessing sensitive data or projects while connected to a potentially unsecure network, you can keep important information protected.
- Email encryption
Encryption can also be used in email to keep messages secure and further protect company data. Email encryption should always be used in business, but is particularly important when working remotely and outside of the company’s own secure network.
- Removable devices
Employees should be careful when using removable devices such as USB sticks, as these can be a source of malware. All removeable devices should be checked by the company IT department before they are used and especially before they are connected to company computers, as malware spread in this way could threaten the whole network. Employees must also be aware that they should never let anyone plug an unchecked USB device into their computer to share data. A more secure file sharing solution should always be sought out.
Take these tips on board to protect your employees and keep company data secure. Remote work provides many business opportunities and should be embraced by businesses, as long as they have put the right procedures in place to ensure that security isn’t compromised.