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The Dos and Don’ts of Remote Work: Tips for Ensuring Data Security While Working from Home

The Dos and Don’ts of Remote Work: Tips for Ensuring Data Security While Working from Home

Recent years have enabled many companies to shift from working in the office to working from home. While there are benefits to remote work like offering more flexibility and staff productivity, data security has become more at risk. 

Working from home brings risks, especially for businesses with outdated or no IT infrastructure. Because of the lack of IT training, poor password management, unsecured Wi-Fi connections, and other security threat issues, protecting and securing data can be challenging more than ever. 

Leaders should teach employees they are responsible for maintaining data security. Additionally, they must implement specific processes and procedures and perform security risk assessment to improve data security within their organizations. Remote workers must also emphasize safe practices and data security training before committing to those measures. 

To further elaborate, here are some tips for ensuring data security while working from home. 

Establish a Cybersecurity Policy

Ensuring every employee knows that data security is a top concern is the first step in protecting firm data. Some employees today may still need to learn about the importance of data security for their personal and professional lives.

Some employees also believe they only need to be concerned about data security if they work directly with client data or aren’t in a higher position within the organization. That’s why employers cannot presume that their staff members are knowledgeable about cybersecurity or their responsibilities in it.

Creating a cybersecurity policy is the ideal starting point. Whether they work remotely or not, all new and existing workers must read and sign the policy. It should explain the reasons for having a policy in the first place, as well as all of the security protocols that employees need to follow, how the company will support them in following those protocols, and a place for the employee to sign their commitment to doing so.

Focus on the Network and Wi-Fi Security

Whether or not you use the equipment your employer provides, you are still in charge of safeguarding your personal network. Safeguarding your network will increase the security of your home office. It’s good if your chosen Wi-Fi requires you to input a password. If not, you can modify this by going to your router’s settings. Find the IP address that is listed on the router, type it into your web browser, and sign in to see your router settings.

Additionally, alter the router’s default password. Hackers frequently know default passwords, making them vulnerable to your network and Wi-Fi security. Changing your passwords regularly is crucial, even if you’ve never done it. Also, a hacker could access your devices and web traffic through your router.

Create Strong, Unique Passwords and Use a Password Manager

Another relatively simple method for safeguarding the data in your firm is password security. Many people joke about password security, admitting they use the same password across several programs and devices. However, in order to protect your company’s data, you must instruct remote staff on password security.

Providing password security training can be yet another step in providing staff with cybersecurity training. Start with the fundamentals of password security and the significance of never using the same password twice.

Employers and employees can reduce this risk by adopting password managers, which can generate random passwords for you and securely store all of your passwords. Employees won’t have to battle to remember their passwords for various programs daily, and company data will remain safe and secure.

Maximize Two-Factor Authentication

Many firms are switching to two-factor authentication (2FA) for their data security management. This approach requires a username, password, and an additional piece of information, such as the solution to a “secret question” or even a PIN given to their mobile phone, to verify a user’s identity.

Passwords can frequently be compromised or stolen, but with 2FA, it is unusual that someone would also know the answer to the additional security question or a PIN. This extra security measure can give enterprises and remote workers a pass to detect online fraud, as well as the peace of mind they require in the current digital era when passwords aren’t sufficient.

Companies might go one step further and implement multi-factor authentication, calling for further verification involving biometrics like fingerprint, voice, or retinal recognition. Authentication is undoubtedly more difficult and expensive, but depending on the level of security required by an organization, it can be worthwhile.

Be on the Lookout for Phishing and Other Threats

Shoulder surfing, social engineering, and other typical cybersecurity assaults can quickly cause a data breach for your business. A wise practice is always to be cautious of these cyber attempts. 

The sophistication of modern phishing attacks makes it more challenging to determine whether an incoming email is accurate. Report any suspect phone or email activity to your security staff first, then follow their recommendations. Similarly, be on the lookout for anyone trying to gather information over your shoulder while you’re working in a public area.

Do Not Overlook Firewalls, Antivirus Software, and Anti-Malware

Remote workers must have current firewalls, antivirus programs, and anti-malware on all their gadgets, including their computers, smartphones, and tablets. If a device is lost or stolen, businesses should also consider having the option to delete it remotely. The majority or all of these tasks can be carried out by mobile device management platforms, enabling remote workers to continue using their devices while maintaining company data security.

Final Thoughts 

Data security need not be compromised as a result of remote work. These top cybersecurity practices can quickly become standard operating procedures that everyone in a company can readily commit to. It will give everyone in the organization the confidence that they are doing everything possible to protect the security of the employees’ and employers’ data. 

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