Security needs to be a top priority for any company using a remote or hybrid workforce. Many companies found that moving to remote and hybrid models offered massive benefits, such as better work life balance, increased productivity, and lower overhead. The main downside has been the dangers posed by securing this new dynamic.
Recent reports indicate that cyber attacks are up. By a lot. Hackers and bad actors pay attention to new trends, and they’ve been quick to capitalize on the possible weaknesses posed by remote work forces. At the same time, the way remote workers are using devices and a lack of best practices for security have left companies and their data at a heightened state of risk.
The good news is that these lapses are fixable. You can safely enable your remote or hybrid workforce while still initiating a solid cybersecurity protocol that keeps your company and data safe. In this post, we’ll give you several actionable tips you can employ today to improve your security process.
7 Tips for Improved Security in a Remote Workforce
Remote workforces aren’t new. But they have gained in popularity rapidly. And many firms weren’t using best practices as they moved more towards remote and hybrid work situations. Now is the time.
Here are some tips that are essential for your hybrid workforce.
1. Vulnerability Testing
Vulnerability testing is a good idea for any firm that has employees working on several devices in and out of the office. Also called penetration testing, or pen testing, this is a form of ethical hacking. You’re testing your system to see how difficult it would be to compromise data. You can also hire companies to test employees by sending them phishing links and employing other techniques used by hackers to see how well they adhere to best practices.
Overall, your vulnerability assessment should give you good knowledge of how your infrastructure and staff hold up in terms of cybersecurity. This can give you a roadmap for how and what to improve.
2. Develop a Cybersecurity Plan for Remote and Hybrid Workforces
Your basic cybersecurity plan may not account for the hybrid workforce if you’ve recently pivoted. It’s important that companies assess where their weaknesses may be in terms of employees accessing their data off site.
3. Mandate Device Use Regulations
Ideally, your employees will only use devices that are part of your network. This means that your IT team can control whether the devices are updated properly and have strong enough security. Many remote workers have been using work and personal devices interchangeably and this is a terrible risk. Personal devices often don’t have robust security applications. Using work devices for personal use can also pose a risk, depending on the types of sites employees frequent and the activities they perform online.
4. Offer and Mandate Security Training
Your staff needs to be trained properly. Most data security issues are caused by human error and, often, employees were not aware of the risks. Giving your team the tools they need to understand best practices and recognize possible risks is essential.
5. Help Desk Support for Remote Workers
Remote workers may not be as tech savvy as your IT department. They can easily experience technical issues while working from home. But they can’t easily call the IT department to fix it when they’re working in their home office. Offering Help Desk support for your remote workforce gives them the resources they need to address any problem immediately.
The alternative often means that workers will make decisions that are not best practice for your security. Such as continuing to use a device with issues. Some technical issues are symptomatic of a compromised device. Even when it’s not a data security risk, it will lead to a drop in productivity.
6. Institute a “Zero Trust” Environment
This sounds foreboding but all it really means is that your company controls who has access to your data. By using solutions to carefully authorize employees for set access, you limit possible exposure. Your Zero Trust policy will include robust sign in measures and may limit employee access based on position and need. Multi-factor authorization is also a best practice because it will make access virtually impossible for any hacker who has managed to access employee passwords through phishing or other means.
7. Mandate Network Security for Home Use
A VPN for remote workers is a good idea. It’s important that remote employees aren’t using public networks, and standard personal equipment is not necessarily strong enough for professional use.
Looking for Expertise in Remote Work Security?
Whether you’re just moving to remote work solutions or are actively trying to improve the process, MIBAR.net can help.
Contact us today for more information on building the most robust security protocol for your unique workforce.