Although it may seem like it given the recent surge, telecommuting is nothing new to the business world. In fact, in 2019, as many as 51 million Americans were working from a home office according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. This trend is likely to continue to grow given all the benefits working from home has to offer.
While the increased flexibility is nice to have, cybersecurity should not be forgotten. Remote employees have a higher risk of becoming the victim of a cyberattack than those who work in an office building. Protect your remote workforce by taking the necessary steps.
Remote employees are more vulnerable to cyberattacks because they don’t have access to the same security tools as your office. What’s worse, most home networks lack basic security measures. Since this is the case, it’s necessary to develop a strong remote working network security plan. This plan should consider security from both a software and a hardware perspective.
If you need help figuring out how to maintain security when employees work remotely, Net3 IT can help. We have years of experience assisting businesses with their cybersecurity needs. To help you on your mission to secure your workforce, we’ve created a list of best practices you can follow to keep your staff safe.
Generally, your employees should stay away from public networks because of their lack of security. However, there may come a time when they may need to use one. When this time comes, make sure they are using a virtual private network (VPN).
A VPN allows your team members to connect to the corporate network securely from whatever network they are using. It gives them online privacy and anonymity by masking the user’s internet protocol (IP) address. With an activated VPN, all online actions are encrypted and virtually untraceable. This makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to sensitive data.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an extra layer of protection that uses multiple verification steps to certify that the user is who they say they are. It’s a security tool that’s used in conjunction with a password and username. The concept of MFA is centered around the idea that there’s something only you would know or have access to.
For example, after entering your login credentials, you may be sent a unique code to your email or phone. So, you would have to have access to your inbox or your phone in order to retrieve the code. This is only one form of MFA, and you can usually customize it to your preferences. While it may take a little longer to do than simply entering a username and password, the additional security is worth it.
No matter where your employees are working from, there’s always going to be a need for collaboration. Services like Microsoft Teams and Google Docs help make sharing files between home and office easier. However, sharing needs to stay secure, especially if you’re dealing with sensitive material. Make sure that only members of your team have access to the services you’re using.
Shadow IT is any software or hardware that isn’t managed by your IT department. Say one of your employees is accessing documents via a personal tablet, that would be an example of shadow IT. The problem with shadow IT is it introduces an easily avoidable security gap in the organization’s network. It should be made known that everybody needs to work off of their company approved devices and nothing else.
Remote management and monitoring is a service where an administrator uses a tool to manage your network and continuously monitor it for suspicious activity. This allows them to identify threats and mitigate them before they can become a problem for the user. Investing in this service can go a long way in helping your remote workforce stay secure.
If you need to protect your work from home staff from cyberthreats, reach out to Net3 IT today. We offer a variety of security solutions tailor made to defend against the worst cyberattacks. With us by your side, you can rest easy knowing your employees have the security they need to work worry-free.
Contact Net3 IT to learn more.
Since 2012, Net3 IT has offered enterprise-level IT experience and industry knowledge to help Knoxville businesses make the right decisions. We are committed to our customers’ success by providing cost-effective, high-value IT services, VOIP phone services, and strategic consulting.