In today’s fast-paced business world, remote work is quickly gaining traction. In fact, 50% of the US workforce is expected to work remotely by 2020, according to Forbes. While most managers will be more than willing to embrace remote work, IT leaders are typically skeptical of it at first.
As much as having a remote team means better employee retention rates, they expose the company’s data to cybersecurity risks. This is mainly because it is tougher to control how remote employees use company data than it is to control the in-house workforce. For your organization to excel in embracing a remote workforce, you need to take security as a priority.
Here are a few ways to make working with a remote team secure:
Use Secure Connections; Employees could be working from anywhere between their homes and a coffee shop when working remotely. In case they are using free Wi-Fi to access company applications, then it might be easy for hackers to gain access to your details by simply spying on the employees. For instance, an employee who opens your mini remote control software on a public network to access files on their work computer will easily lead hackers to the files within the computer.
As such, it is vital to encourage employees to use a company-governed VPN every time they try to access your company’s IT assets. Additionally, it is also wise to assess whether the devices used to access the network have all the necessary patches installed to avoid leaks.
Consider Using Cloud-Based Solutions
Using cloud-based solutions is a great option when running virtual teams. First, it allows employees from different geographical areas to have access to the latest version of company data at the same time. Second, it is much easier for hackers to access company data that is confined to employee devices than it is to hack into a company’s cloud-based accounts.
Furthermore, it is much easier to completely lose company data when it is confined to the devices of employees. With cloud storage, the data can be backed up in real time. This also gives the organization enough control over the data were the employee to leave the company abruptly.
Control the Use of Company Devices
In case you provide employees with devices for them to use, it is wise to have a strong mobile device management policy. The policy should vividly state that employees should never use work devices for personal purposes such as accessing personal emails as this increases the scope of cybersecurity risk. As for the security software on these devices, ensure that they are always on the latest versions for optimal security.
Since you cannot always rely on your remote team to update the software, you should offer automatic updates to the devices. In case you choose to walk the BYOD path, then committing to strategies that will help increase the security of your data is vital. For instance, containerization can help keep company data safe if an employee’s device is stolen or gets lost.
Limit Employee Access
While you might trust the employee with your company data, there is no telling the kind of people they are always around. As a result, limiting their access to company data will help minimize the risk of data breaches. You can achieve this through privileged access control.
This way, employees will only access data that is relevant to what they are doing at the moment. Additionally, data access should only be offered on a need-to-know basis. Remote employees working in the finance department shouldn’t have access to IT-related data.
Conclusion; Employees are one of the most vulnerable parts of your organization when it comes to security threats. Embracing remote work only calls for more stress on your security strategies. Consider the tips above to keep your organization safe from a data breach.