A National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Security Analysis for Remote Workers.
Microsoft is one of many companies allowing their employees to continue working from home until at least summer 2021. Due to the ongoing restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, employees across the world are being told to continue working from home. While telecommuting has helped stem the spread of the coronavirus, it also highlighted key risks for your employee’s remote workplace security.
When employees work from home, they generally use their own internet and devices. While you may need remote access to keep your business running, you cannot afford the risks of threats, like phishing emails, pose. If an employee falls for a phishing email, it can lead to a security breach involving your company’s files. Phishing emails are just one form of Business Email Comprise (BEC) but there are numerous other threats out there that may slip through the cracks.
Climb Channel Solutions can help show you how to keep your business securely protected by following these five easy steps.
1. Enforce Work From Home Policies
Some of the problems businesses face involve the remote worker, rather than the work environment. By having a work-from-home policy, you can ensure a safe remote workplace for your company. Employees must understand best practices for cybersecurity and the individual responsibility in upholding these practices for your business. The policies you choose will depend on the industry and your unique business requirements.
Training takes time, and even with the best policies, a security breach can still happen. To make sure your remote workers are fully trained, you should create a cybersecurity checklist. This checklist should include all the actions your workers should take to keep information secure.
Finally, in the event of a security incident, you need to have a policy in place for reporting threats. If employees can report security breaches and incidents right away, it will help you mitigate the potential damage.
2. Cybersecurity Training for Employees
Creating a work-from-home policy is an essential task you need to do to protect your workplace, but it is only the first step in a comprehensive process. Your policy is only useful if people know about it. You need to provide your workers with extensive training sessions on cybersecurity risks. Through your training programs, your employees will learn about what they must do to create a secure environment at home.
Some companies only train employees on security awareness once a year. Security information can and will quickly become outdated, so it is important to train your employees on new threats as they develop. To do this, you may want to give your employees monthly or quarterly training sessions.
To get started, we suggest these best security practices for your remote workers.
- Avoid Phishing Emails
- Backup Data
- Create Strong Passwords
- Encrypt Communications
- Install Anti-virus Software
- Install Security Updates
- Lock Unsupervised Devices
- Secure Your Home Router
- Use Multi-factor Authentication
3. Invest in the Right Tools
If you want your remote workers to be secure, you must give them the right tools. Virtual private network (VPN) software, firewalls and anti-virus software can help you protect your company’s data. The tools you use will depend on your industry and the employee’s unique role.
- Use a VPN: A VPN is an excellent tool for ensuring online privacy. By encrypting your data, you make it harder for cybercriminals to steal your information.
- Implement a firewall: Once your firewall is in place, it can prevent malicious requests from harming your devices.
- Install anti-virus or anti-malware software: This is standard to protect your data from cyber threats.
- Conduct a risk assessment: Assessment services gain insight into your company’s vulnerabilities and then determine how best to protect your business
4. Limit Access to Your Most Valuable Data
When you limit how many people have access to your data, you can effectively reduce the pathways cybercriminals can use to access it. Instead of giving every employee access to your company’s sensitive information, limit access to certain workers.
One of the best ways to protect your information is by giving different employees access based on their roles. A marketing manager probably does not need access to your accounting records, like your financial managers and accountants do. You can determine different levels of security and access for all of your remote workers.
By keeping important information on a need-to-know basis, you can limit your company’s exposure to risk.
5. Always Back-Up Your Data
Remote workers may forget to update their anti-virus software, or they may use outdated devices. If your company becomes the victim of a ransomware breach, you will need to restore your original information and files from a data backup. Otherwise, you will be unable to replace your data. Because your security risks are higher, you need to back-up information more often when you use remote workers.
Backing up your data helps you bounce back after a security breach. For your business to be resilient, it needs contingency plans and backups in place. With the right tools, you can prepare your company for any attack
Cybercriminals will unfortunately always be on the lookout for new security weaknesses. As more companies enable remote workplace access, cybercriminals are adjusting to this change and searching for new windows of opportunity.
Thankfully, you can protect your company from cybercriminals through the right security plan for your business. However, every business needs multiple defenses and barriers to protect data from cybercriminals. If you are looking for ways to protect your remote workers, we can help.