2020 has been a year to remember. With a raging pandemic making the office more dangerous than ever, remote work has become the new norm for hundreds of millions of people within the United States and across the globe. As vaccinations become more widespread in 2021, workers have already begun returning to their office spaces. However, remote work is here to stay: 70% of the workforce will work remotely at least five days per month in 2025, with two-thirds of CFOs also revealed to be planning on moving to an all-remote workforce after the pandemic concludes.
While remote work is undoubtedly convenient for employees, working from home uncovers a host of new problems pertaining to cybersecurity that was not as large of an issue when working in the office. And now IT leaders think of various solutions to maintain security when employees work remotely.
How can employers help employees keep both themselves and the company protected as a new host of cyber threats emerges in 2021?
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1. Move to the cloud for business-related projects.
Cloud environments such as Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and Dropbox are easy ways of sharing files and provide unlimited access to business applications. Plus, they provide up-to-date security that keeps company files protected.
2. Emulate the company network by ensuring that employees use VPNs.
Virtual public networks (VPNs) essentially serve as firewalls and have become one of the most common security measures for remote workers. They keep similar security, capabilities, and appearance to working on the office network while protecting employee data online.
3. Implement the usage of multi-factor authentication for remote workers.
While many employers exhibit hesitation over installing multi-factor authentication due to the inconvenience involved, this security method is incredibly useful for stopping security breaches. It is one of the key safety tips for remote workers.
4. Start putting password managers into place.
In order to bolster password security, requiring remote workers to utilize encrypted password software is a key step that employers can take when aiming to protect their network.
5. Make sure that employees understand security best practices.
Talking about data security for remote workers, when allowing employees to work remotely, create clear guidelines so that they know the basics on how to keep both themselves and company data secure.
6. Ensure that video meetings are secure.
Zoom and other video conference services are undoubtedly life-savers for employee collaboration over the web, but extra steps can be taken to protect call attendees. Some important steps that employers and employees alike can take are creating a special ID and password for each call, only allowing the host to share screen, providing paid accounts to employees that may allow for access to advanced security features, and locking a Zoom meeting once all members are present to avoid unexpected drop-ins.
7. Confirm that employees know how to keep their devices up to date.
Software updates, or patches, can oftentimes provide improved abilities, create better software stability, include up-to-date security measures, and remove potential liabilities from the old software. Encouraging employees to implement automatic updates can provide the fastest protection via patches.
8. Enact company-wide BYOD/MDM systems.
Creating BYOD (bring your own device) and MDM (mobile device management) strategies can help insulate employees from a variety of breaches that impact companies.
9. Create awareness around email phishing.
Email phishing is a common means of attack that can reach anyone within an organization. Cybercriminals can use phishing to obtain login information and encourage employees to share sensitive data. Data security policies during work from home definitely help, though making sure workers know what to look for is critical for protecting the company.
10. Run training so that employees know how to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.
Beyond creating guidelines and raising awareness, actual security training is critical for avoiding common scams. A Pensar study from 2018 found that risks pertaining to security decreased 70% when cybersecurity training was provided. Training engages employees directly and makes sure that workers remain alert when dealing with suspicious materials. Give them a work from home security checklist to follow.
With vTech Solution, you can safeguard your business continuity with an established security architecture that protects your networks, cloud, mobile, and endpoints.
Get in touch with our experts and have a one-to-one conversation to resolve your security challenges.