Today, every business that can manage remote work is requiring employees to work from home. Businesses across the world have had to rapidly adapt to this new business model, including the risks and challenges that come with it. 

One of the biggest risks is security

This new way of work has opened many doors for hackers, who are always looking for vulnerability. They use ransomware like RobbinHood and WannaCry to compromise a company’s biggest asset—its data—and leave you alone only after you pay a hefty ransom. 

You can save your business from hackers and optimize the security of your remote workforce by taking a few precautionary measures. 

1. Ensure Remote Work Device Management

Hackers can use your employees’ devices to quickly access your system. These devices are properly configured with the company’s network for security and privacy, but you can’t fully control them while they’re being used at home. That’s why it’s crucial that specific security policies be established and strictly implemented. 

First of all, make sure that employees use the company’s laptops and mobile phones for work instead of their personal devices. You have no right to control and monitor their own assets. 

Keep your company’s devices updated and well managed with the help of reliable IT support services for remote management. Don’t compromise on the following policies.

  • Full disk encryption
  • Scheduled OS and utility updates
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Strong passwords—update them every week or month

2. Provide Secure Access to Resources

Once remote devices are properly managed, focus on how these devices will access cloud-based tools and other company resources. Employees need to share and access data continually. An attack is most likely to take place during the file transfer process. 

Many believe that putting passwords on files is more than enough protection. IT consultants advise against it as hackers can now access data in secure PDF files

Access control is all about who can access which files and under what circumstances. The use of proper file transfer protocols and encryption provides an extra layer of security. Implement protocols like SAML and RADIUS to authenticate user identity and open access only for limited emails and devices, even for less significant files on Google Drive and Dropbox. 

3. Install a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

An investigation by Microsoft discovered that hackers specifically target devices attached to corporate networks. If you don’t go the extra mile for network security, you become easy prey. A VPN provides you that security by working as an encrypted tunnel that leads to company resources. 

Installation of a VPN can be complex, but an experienced managed IT service provider like Techinc can get the job done with no mistakes. IT companies prefer and recommend the use of two-factor authentication VPN for better security. It will ensure the safety of your system even when employees are accessing it from multiple locations and public networks. 

4. Secure Internet Access Points

Although proper management of devices pretty much covers the security of network access points, you must not overlook the fact that consumer-based routers and devices are full of vulnerabilities.

You can’t be sure how safe an employee’s home networks are or how far their WiFi range goes. Hacking into such a wireless network is no big deal for skilled hackers, giving them open access to data your employee might be using. It also makes their entry into your system far easier. To cover this vulnerability, ask that your employees:

  • Use a firewall
  • Hide their network name
  • Use complex encryption and passwords

5. Get a Security Assessment

You may think that your remote workforce is working in a secure environment, but it never hurts to get a professional opinion. Have an IT service provider assess your system security. Professionals are likely to find one or more loopholes that could potentially destroy the future of your business. After all, you don’t know what hackers know. 

They are skilled enough to keep tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google always on guard, but a small business with low security is their ideal target. Testing your system for vulnerabilities gives you a fighting chance.

6. Organize Online Security Seminar for Employees

Once you have secured your network and devices, take measures to ensure that your employees don’t do anything foolish to compromise this security. Unless all your employees are network security experts, they could make a mistake, especially when someone sets a trap. 

Organize online seminars to teach your employees about potential threats and how they should be avoided. For example, the use of a fake download button is an old trick hackers use to release a virus on a device. 

Employees will not only understand these tricks but also learn a thing or two about securing and managing their devices and home networks. 

7. Control What Employees Install

Even if your network administrator doesn’t have full control over the devices your employees are using, have him control what the employees are allowed to install. 

Software gets permission to access almost every component of the computer when it’s installed. 

A report by nCipher confirmed that employees are the weakest link to data security. Just one instance of mistakenly installed spyware will give hackers eyes and ears in your system. Instead of taking a chance, you should never allow employees to install anything without an administrator’s permission. 

8. Do Not Lose Empathy

People are more understanding when talking face to face to another person. Many employers have realized that it’s difficult to be empathetic when their team members are working from home. Empathy with employees is important in the office and even more important when managing a remote workforce. 

An employee’s single mistake could compromise the company’s security. Empathy will ensure no one willingly makes such a mistake. 

It wouldn’t be the first time—even American Express had to deal with an employee who compromised the company’s customer information.

9. Keep Employees Engaged

It’s not easy working from home for employees either. They may find it difficult to focus and take work seriously. If they are careless, they won’t deliver quality work and could make damaging mistakes.

To avoid such a situation, you should do everything you can to keep your employees engaged while they are working from home. 

Remind them that they are still part of a company and working a full-time job. Try throwing virtual parties, conducting regular video conferences, and celebrating small milestones and birthdays to make them feel like a team. 

Don’t Let Your Business Fall Victim to Hackers

Your business can successfully come out the other side of the current global pandemic stronger than before, but only if you take the necessary steps to protect your employees and your data. Get a free security consultation with our experienced technology specialists by calling Techinc at 303-835-4363 or contacting us online