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Technological advancements and the internet influenced people’s lives so much that both changed the modern workforce. Remote work was conceived and is now a popular option that many professionals can choose. In that setup comes a different set of concerns for remote employees, one of them being cybersecurity.
It’s a different situation in terms of safeguarding business data for remote employees. They’re using their internet connection to communicate with one another, which leaves them vulnerable to threats. Another thing that makes cybersecurity challenging in a remote workplace is that your employees are in charge of their data and device security, increasing risks due to negligence or lack of information.
In a remote work environment, protecting the business from cyber threats becomes even more important. If your company’s looking to shift into that arrangement, you need to develop a plan to bring the same quality of protection to a remote setup. With that in mind, here are ways on how to maintain cybersecurity for your remote employees.
Understand your HR’s role in cybersecurity
HR plays a key role even in a remote workplace. Employees rely on your HR staff to communicate concerns and other basic workplace information, which is why you should involve them with your cybersecurity schemes. They should be at the center of it because of its capability to send efficiently send updates.
It’s important to educate your remote employees about how your company will approach data and device protection. Being informed is crucial to lessen your vulnerability due to employee negligence, a major concern in cybersecurity in a remote work setup. That’s why the HR department is essential because they can help keep employees and management to any change to your cybersecurity structure.
Should you choose to let a third party handle everything, like availing of managed services in Kansas City, your HR department will relay information from them to management and employees. They can also help with any training, if necessary, or answer queries from your employees.
Establish and enforce a policy for data security and device use
Aside from negligence, human error can also compromise your remote employee’s cybersecurity. It’s normal; however, one mistake can cause long downtime, which will hamper productivity. You can minimize such costly blunders by establishing and enforcing a policy that your employees must comply with.
Your policy should clearly outline all the different protocols that they must follow. For example, guidelines for using electronic devices for remote work should be implemented, regardless if they’re personal or company-owned gadgets. That could include limiting your remote staff from using their accounts (email, social media) on company-owned devices.
Besides the policies they need to comply with, you should also explain how the company intends to support compliance. The policy should also outline what will happen to employees who don’t comply with it. Then, once you’ve formed and discussed it with them, have them sign a document and firmly enforce it and hold your employees to it.
Provide your employees with the right technology
As previously mentioned, you should let your employees know how the company will support cybersecurity policy compliance. Equipping them with the right tools and technology that can help them comply is one of them. The company should give the software and devices that they need to adhere to remote cybersecurity guidelines.
Your employees can focus on their regular work without worrying much about complying once they have the resources necessary for it. That lessens the pressure of thinking that you’re expecting them to follow your rules. Such tools can come in antivirus software or a virtual private network (VPN).
Use reliable authentication and authorization systems
Thanks to recent innovations, authentication and authorization systems enhanced cybersecurity. These systems can help in a remote work environment because it puts an additional security layer that protects business accounts. An effective authentication and authorization program provides traceability of which employee is accessing or has access to certain accounts.
Having both or either of these systems in place is helpful for access and identity management. Continual verification to grant access and manage accounts is a safer approach most tech companies use today. In addition, it prevents accidents from happening when your employees leave their devices unattended.
Utilizing continual verification for cybersecurity in business is also referred to as the “Zero Trust” model. This model is based on the concept that companies shouldn’t trust anything, even those inside their parameters. Zero Trust can also help address the limitations and weaknesses of a VPN.
Prohibit connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi
Your employees may opt to work outside of their homes which means they’ll most likely connect to an unsecured public Wi-Fi. You shouldn’t allow them to do that because it exposes your data to threats.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let them work in a coffee shop or a library. It just means that when they do, they should use your company VPN or their pocket Wi-Fi.
Don’t overload your VPN
A VPN does contribute to tighter cybersecurity for your remote employees. However, overloading it can compromise that. When overloaded, your VPN slows down, which makes it vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
You have to avoid overloading your company VPN to avoid compromising its integrity. For example, you can organize a schedule for the use and the number of employees that will connect to it regularly. Other ways you can avoid overloading your VPN include changing your VPN server location and using split-tunneling to manage VPN traffic.
Cloud computing is an ideal cybersecurity solution for remote employees. Moving your work to a cloud-based data ecosystem will increase accessibility, collaboration, and storage. Your business data will be stored and secured remotely, and those who have access to it are the only ones that can, aside from your cloud provider.
Cybersecurity should be prioritized by businesses, particularly for remote employees. Laying out a plan and implementing it well will help them a lot. Communicate all necessary information and focus on doing what’s necessary for your remote team and protecting your company data.
Luther Abrams is a known tech-savvy despite his age. He loves to explore new possibilities and tech innovations, which also inspired him to write more about technology and why it has become the future of everything.