Enterprise security is essential and lies in the digital security of every single employee. This is why most companies seek ways to bolster their safety architecture from intruders. To do this, establishments pay for various subscriptions and install software packages on computers within the office. Everything seems relatively easy when firms use this approach.
Understanding the Security Implications of Remote Work
However, a lot has changed in recent times. With remote work becoming more viable, traditional methods will no longer suffice. Meanwhile, this change in working patterns does not erase the security threats. Both workers and employers must figure out ways to deal with the vulnerabilities while working from their preferred location.
This can be challenging, considering that workers take significant responsibility for online safety. Unlike in an office setting, the IT department is no longer directly involved in individual device security. Statistics show that at least 20% of organizations operating a remote work plan have been exploited.
As a remote team, the transfer of private data is done digitally. This raises the security threat levels. It also means that companies must be even more careful with the exchange, processing, and storage of data. Human weakness remains the major security loophole. All it takes is a single employee slipping up, and the cyber-terrorist has access to institutional data.
Rules that Can Help Remote Workers Ensure Security
Regardless of the security challenges, remote work remains one of the most efficient company practices. It relieves workers of having to exhaust themselves in traffic and getting worn out before beginning their day. As such, establishments must introduce dependable regulations encouraging employees to become more responsible and take charge of their devices and internet safety.
To help institutions and their employees, here are some essential security rules for remote work:
Install Trusted Security Software Packages
This is the most crucial rule for remote workers. Antivirus and malware protection programs can be installed from any location as long as a stable Internet connection, and a computer meet the minimum requirement. Meanwhile, refrain from entrusting your cybersecurity to just any product. Although they might be pricey, trusted antivirus packages like Clario, Norton, Kaspersky, McAfee, and so on should be your preferred choice.
Regularly Update Antivirus Software
More often than not, remote workers and their respective organizations do the barest minimum by running cybersecurity programs for the first time. After that initial effort, everyone zones out and forgets about safety. They no longer bother to upgrade their firewall in line with the new challenges – forgetting that the vulnerabilities evolve daily. These people get surprised that they suffer breaches despite having computer safety programs. The reason is that the current software package needs to be better equipped to protect you against the latest threats.
Regularly Clear Out Unnecessary Files
The nature of work in most organizations means that workers will accumulate data over time. However, much of this information loses importance after satisfying its purposes. While this may seem tempting, storing irrelevant content after serving its functions isn’t in the best of your interest. Even analog companies use paper shredders to discard files. As a remote worker, you should take a cue from them and adequately clear out outdated or unnecessary files from time to time. Permanently deleting them ensures you do not leave data traces that hackers can exploit.
Clear Out Old Devices Before Discarding Them
Information is one of many things that wear out. Computers and their accessories become unfit for use after some time. As such, you may need to upgrade them. This may entail discarding them or swapping your gadgets for an improved version. You will try to either discard your previous device or trade it to recoup some funds. One thing to note, however, is that you lose control over the contents of that gadget. Ensure to permanently delete the information stored on your old machine using specialized software programs before switching to a new one.
Avoid Suspicious Links
If the company has a security subscription, there will be limited chances of workers getting phishing emails. The firewall will redirect these messages to the spam section. This does not always happen; you may receive phishing links via mail or other messaging apps. Do not click on those URLs, not even out of curiosity. If you have a comprehensive security package, verify with your antivirus that any link is safe before visiting the webpage where it leads.
Work With Cloud Storage
How you store information determines their safety levels. Considering that it has become a traditional storage method, most individuals tend to prefer keeping information on their devices. While this may seem adequate, there are more efficient methods. For one, using this analog approach means leaving copies of information whenever you send or receive it. In addition, computers and iPhones can get viruses. So it is better to store work content in a safe place.
Always Lock Computers and Other Devices
As mentioned above, your workstation’s devices are a significant vulnerability. In less than a minute, a hacker can send corrupt files to your computer – which they can use to gain backdoor access to your data. Considering the risk, you should NEVER leave your computer unattended. To further protect yourself, always lock your PC with a strong passcode. In addition, set your device to lock itself automatically if left idle for a while.
Do Not Use Public Wireless Networks
Alongside working from home, public workstations have become a trend. Besides that, coffee and pastry shops also offer public Wi-Fi. As such, the prospect of saving on data is very tempting. However, connecting to the World Wide Web via third-party internet connections is a huge risk. The reason is that internet connections are pathways through which you send and receive information. If you cannot avoid using these wireless connections, ensure to install cybersecurity protection software and use a VPN. They cloak your network and ensure that attacks do not come from public Wi-Fi systems.
Always Use Strong Passwords and Multifactor Authentication
Remote work means operating multiple virtual accounts from your workspaces and emails to storage platforms. This also means you will have to use passwords – lots of them. This has caused most people to use “easy-to-remember” and “regular passwords.” Most employees even use the same password to access different accounts. Employing an approach is a huge risk and makes you susceptible to a hijack. Instead of the laid-back method, use strong passwords. There are also systems that allow you to work without passwords and use a multifactor authenticator instead.
Conduct Regular System Checks for Vulnerability
While most methods emphasize sophistry, regular monitoring outlines the importance of simple things. Ensure to browse through your phone and computer for irregularities from time to time. There are extensions you can search for to ascertain if your gadget has been hacked. Clear out your spam folder if you do not see any useful emails there. Use a password manager to change your password and log out of previous devices.
Statistics show that cyberattacks have cost damages up to $6 trillion. Records also show that security breaches happen every 39 seconds. Since remote companies and their workers leave multiple digital footprints, it is best to introduce and adhere to essential rules that will breed a secure work environment free from cyber vulnerabilities.