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Ensuring the Security of Your Remote Workforce

Back in April, we discussed ‘Downsizing the Workforce? It’s a Mistake to Skimp on Cyber Security’ as companies across the board had to cope with downsizing and furloughs due to the pandemic. One major mistake that companies may make in scaling down their operations is taking their cyber security for granted. Smaller companies, as well as skeletal and remote workforces, are not exempt from data breaches, malware attacks, or other security threats. Businesses should always remain on guard for their own vulnerabilities and do what they can to reduce the risks. As we said, beefing up your security both lessens these risks while also pushing for continuity in your business’ ability to stay afloat.

Here’s what you can do to ensure the security of your remote workforce:

Review basic cyber security hygiene

When you are in a physical office, workers may rely on IT departments for their cyber security needs. However, since workers are now remote, it’s advisable to hold a refresher course to remind them of basic cyber security hygiene and protocols. Business News Daily suggests that one of the quickest and most effective things you can do is to train employees to be able to recognize some of the common threats that can occur, especially since they will be using their own home networks. This review should cover everything from maintaining proper browsing practices, identifying phishing emails, changing passwords, and establishing multi-factor authentication. It is these basic requirements that are often overlooked, so it will not hurt to get everyone onto the same page once again.

Make file sharing safe and seamless

Since collaboration is now fully online, there is a continuous back and forth among colleagues sharing files, documents, presentations, and possibly other sensitive company data that needs to remain confidential. While the IoT allows this interconnectedness among individuals to happen remotely, there are still threats that may occur during the transmission of information. Especially if transferred through non-secure channels like email. This is why Box notes that file sharing in collaborative workspaces should be easy and safe. This will allow for transparency and syncing among all those who have access to these files, so that it is easier to trace any changes and likewise mitigate any suspicious behavior. With differing levels of permission, password protection, and optional expiry dates, you can have all your bases covered. Since this is essentially the way your business will be functioning and conducting its operations for now, files and information should only be in the hands of those who need to have access.

Amp up your technical tools and policy

While some workers may be using company devices, others may be using personal computers and networks. If the latter is the case, make sure that workers are using a VPN connection and that they have also updated their latest anti-virus software and security patches. It is also recommended that workers secure their home networks with encryption. Cyber security agency ENISA advises that remote workforces evaluate their current policies with regard to cyber security – no personal activities and browsing during work hours and no sharing of passwords or information with family members. Companies should also amp up their technical tools by creating contingency plans that cover necessary support for workers who run into issues. However, to streamline operations this should also detail specific steps employees can take if they can solve the issue on their own. As you go along, both you and your employees should audit your technical tools and policies to fill in whatever gaps that surface.

Investing time and money in enacting cyber security measures is priceless if this means guaranteeing your peace of mind. There’s no such thing as being too secure.