Protecting Company Data When You Have a Remote Workforce
Many companies lack the in-house resources to accommodate remote workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Discover how managed IT services help you bridge the gap.
Working from home is becoming the “new normal” for employees worldwide as the coronavirus crisis forces them to shelter in place. Companies used to having their staff work mostly or entirely on-site are contending with new tech challenges as they navigate the transition. At the same time, hackers are taking advantage of the fear and chaos to ramp up their attacks on businesses large and small, making data breaches and other disruptions more likely. Here are some critical steps you can take to keep your data secure as your team works remotely during the pandemic.
Step Up Your Cybersecurity
Fortifying your network is always important, but it’s especially vital when your employees are working from home. To reduce the likelihood that malware and viruses can overtake your system, you must protect it with the latest firewalls and anti-virus software.
Set Up a VPN
Remote workers sometimes use Internet connections that are not secure. If you’re concerned about your employees logging in from unfamiliar networks, consider providing a virtual private network (VPN) for your team. VPNs enable you to establish a secure connection, even on a public network.
Train Your Employees
Not all data breaches are caused by cybercriminals; sometimes, they happen internally. Such transgressions are usually not intentional, but occur because employees aren’t aware of best practices for keeping data private. Data-protection protocols for your staff should include:
- Enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) when logging into the company network. Two-factor authentication requires an “extra layer” of verification besides a password. This may take the form of a one-time code, a fingerprint, or a retinal scan. While hackers are incredibly adept at decoding employee passwords, they usually can’t intercept subsequent authentication steps.
- Not sharing mobile devices with others, whether employee-issued or personal, any device used to access company information should not be available to others.
- Refraining from using public wi-fi when handling sensitive information. Remote workers who aren’t confined to their homes may be connecting to open networks at coffee shops and shared workspaces. Using public wi-fi increases the risk that data may be compromised.
- Having employees sign non-disclosure agreements about the data they will be accessing. This holds them accountable and reinforces the idea that privacy is of the highest priority.
- Looking out for suspicious emails. Workers shouldn’t open emails and attachments they aren’t expecting and should avoid clicking links that come from questionable-looking sites. Bad actors are sending emails that appear to be coronavirus-related to lure unsuspecting users into checking out links that open the door to malware and other threats.
Partner with a Reputable IT Company
Managing IT tasks in-house can be a challenge, especially when you have a distributed workforce. Outsourcing your IT support provides comprehensive network protection, allowing you to concentrate on core business operations. Some of the benefits of onboarding third-party tech support include, but certainly aren’t limited to:
- Risk assessment to readily identify (and correct) any vulnerabilities in your network
- Round-the-clock monitoring of your network
- Disaster-recovery to keep data protected and accessible when the unexpected happens
- Business application support and cloud-based infrastructure
- 24/7 tech support
Partnering with an IT company equips you with the tools you need to meet your goals, not only amid the COVID-19 pandemic but during normal operations, too.