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Keeping your remote workers (digitally) secure

Eden Jefford | 26 Mar 2020
RW SecurityWith remote working now recommended or mandated by governments across the globe due to COVID-19, many companies are suddenly being faced with setting up telecommuting infrastructure within their organizations. Unfortunately, by rushing setup or by asking employees to make their own arrangements, security concerns could become rampant. Not only can some software leave a computer open to attack if improperly set up, but when working out of the office employees can be more susceptible to data breaches and online vulnerabilities without the right knowledge.

It’s important to arm yourself and your staff with the right tools and know-how to keep confidential company information safe, wherever you are. There’s an abundance of tools and tips available specifically for remote workers, but we’ll just cover the essentials to get you started.

Network security

When it comes to securing a connection or accessing a company network, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is often the go-to solution. A VPN be complicated to set up but is worth it, especially if you’ll be connecting to a shared network.

This doesn’t just mean public Wi-Fi, but home Wi-Fi too – you're not going to have the same level of network security on your personal router as you do at the office, so it’s best practice to take every precaution you can. If setting up a VPN seems daunting, a good alternative to a VPN – or something to use in conjunction for peace of mind - is to use a reputable and reliable remote access software. It’s much easier to set up and manage, but just as secure.

Endpoint security

In a perfect world, all company data would stay on company devices, but unfortunately that’s never the case. Realistically, you or other team members will occasionally use a personal device for any business purpose – even just checking your emails from your phone – and so it’s important that you take the proper precautions to minimize risks.

Make sure you’re using a reputable anti-virus program to detect any threats and set it up to scan your device frequently. In addition to this, make sure all devices are encrypted and password protected, as well as being set to auto-lock after a short period of time. If you want to take it a step further, investing in trustworthy remote access software makes sure you can keep all data on your company network, taking advantage of the security measures you already have in place in your organization.

Physical security

We’ve covered the security you’ll need for your hardware and software, but what else isthere to consider? It can often be overlooked, but where you’re working is also a factor in staying secure. If you’re working from your couch and you don’t live on your own, you need to consider who can see your screen, or who can overhear your phone/video calls.

If you’re working on confidential information, make sure your screen isn’t easily viewable by anyone who walks behind you, or even looks through your window (as unlikely and creepy as that would be!). If there’s nowhere that fits the bill for you and your job requires you to handle sensitive information on a regular basis, consider getting a privacy screen, which obscures the view of your screen from the side.

You should also ensure that you lock your device if you get up to make a coffee or use the bathroom – not only does this make sure your roommate won’t be able to read that sensitive email, but if your cat walks on the keyboard you won’t accidentally tweet a nonsensical mash of letters on the company account!

Your accounts should always have multi-factor authentication enabled, so that your data is protected even if the worst happens. Even amid a global pandemic, unfortunately burglaries still happen, and preparing for the worst while hoping for the best is the way forward.

Cybersecurity awareness

Cyber criminals are known to prey on people's reliance on digital tools in moments of crisis, and the global coronavirus outbreak presents the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a difficult situation by using some known attack techniques.

If your business is switching to working from home for the first time, educating staff about common attacks and cybersecurity best practices becomes particularly important, starting with creating strong and unique passwords and storing them safely. This blog about some of the most common and successful social engineering techniques used by hackers is also a good place to start.


If you follow all the tips we’ve provided here, your remote work should be just as secure as being in the office. Make sure all employees have the correct training to keep the risks low.

Need more remote working tips? Download our free eBook for a handy guide to all the essentials. 

 

 

 

Ultimate Remote Working essentials guide - download now

 

Eden Jefford

Written by Eden Jefford

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