Cybersecurity Measures for Working Remotely

3 Mins read
  • In this article, we'll discuss three key strategies to protect business assets and remote employees from cybersecurity threats.

As people face the new reality brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are pushing their efforts to continue their operations despite the current situation. To prevent the spread of the virus, companies are migrating their office spaces in virtual environments as a part of the social distancing measures. As a result, employees have to work full time from the comfort of their homes.

Although working remotely has given employees greater flexibility, working outside the office also comes with risks. The growing remote workforce has provided new opportunities for cybercriminals to infiltrate private networks and exploit unprotected technology systems and overworked remote employees. Since data has become more vulnerable to cyber risks, companies are using various tools to ensure secure protocols.

One example is the Microsoft 365 protection that helps improve and monitor the security of a business’ Microsoft 365 applications, devices, data, and infrastructure. When it comes to cyber threats, a secured Microsoft 365 portal combines detection and protection to various devices and identity threats.

Remote working presents a new challenge for data security since remote work locations don’t have the similar protections offered in office environments. As computers and other devices leave the corporate perimeter and employees work remotely, new challenges emerge for businesses, making security policies more essential than ever. In this article, we’ll discuss three key strategies to protect business assets and remote employees from cybersecurity threats.

Establish strong cybersecurity measures

One of the most important steps in securing company data is to ensure that employees are aware of the importance of data security. In fact, some employees are still unaware that data security is a major concern, whether on a professional or personal level.

Employers often mistake that if they’re not dealing with client’s information directly or operating at the upper level of the company hierarchy, then there’s no need to prioritize data security. This is a common problem since most companies assume that their staff is completely aware of the role of cybersecurity in the workplace.

To raise awareness about the benefits of cybersecurity, employers should establish a comprehensive cybersecurity policy. The policy should contain the reason behind establishing a policy, a detailed outline of the security practices, and resources the company will provide to support employees in complying. The policy should always be available for the new and current employees to access, and they are required to understand and sign the policy as proof of their commitment.

Ensure secure Internet connections

Connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network is the easiest way to endanger company data and expose it to data breaches. When an employee encounters a weak Internet connection at home, they are likely to look for alternative solutions by working in commercial establishments that offer free Wi-Fi connectivity. Some even work in coffee shops to enjoy their favorite beverage while working with fellow remote workers.

While it’s easy to forbid employees from connecting to unsecured networks outside their homes, doing this will only keep them from working in places that make them more motivated and productive.

The best solution is to require remote workers to have a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts the Internet traffic and monitor signs of cyberattacks or infection before a remote worker logs in to public Wi-Fi. When choosing the right VPN for your organization, make sure to consider important security factors, costs, and brand reputation.

Prioritize user experience

Modern applications play a big role in making tasks easier and getting things done. Without access to these applications, employers have to exhaust their efforts to find the best program to help them with their job. This approach where employees access applications and services beyond the corporate IT is called “shadow IT.”

Although remote employees using this approach aren’t a bad thing, they are simply addressing process or knowledge gaps with easy-to-use and familiar digital tools. Sadly, they are unaware that they’re using risky applications to share company information through unprotected file sharing and communication platforms.

A great tip to manage this issue is to install an accessible, secure, and integrated system to manage collaboration, communications, and knowledge sharing. If employers will provide the tools that their employees need, there’s no need to rely on other public platforms. Another technique is to inform your remote workforce regarding the threats of shadow IT. You can also ask employees for recommendations about the applications or devices they need to make their job easier.

Cybersecurity has never been more important for businesses. While the current global crisis is a stressful period given its uncertainties, companies should seize the opportunity to upgrade their security protocols whether for on-site or remote working. In the end, keeping cybersecurity at an optimum level goes a long way in minimizing the threat of cyber attackers.

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About author
Ryan Kh is a big data and analytic expert, marketing digital products on Amazon's Envato. He is not just passionate about latest buzz and tech stuff but in fact he's totally into it. Follow Ryan’s daily posts on Catalyst For Business.
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