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Ensuring Data Security for Remote Workers

By February 5, 2021September 13th, 2021No Comments

With the outbreak of COVID-19, it was difficult for companies to come up with and operate the tools necessary for proper communication and data sharing. Moreover, with the race of being productive when working remotely, the need for these tools rose. But now that the turmoil has settled a bit, it’s time for you to review remote employee data security.

How to maintain Data Security with Remote IT Infrastructure?

There is a vast difference between infrastructure security on office premises and when working remotely. The necessity of mobility and remote access have increased the possibility of security threats therefore it is mandatory to revisit your remote working security policy. The tools and updates that you integrated during the turmoil of the pandemic need to be checked thoroughly now in terms of the risks that it brings to derive potential actions that can be taken to manage them.

Remote working policy

To ensure the desired level of security and safety, your business should make some concrete decisions in the form of a policy and always stay keen to look for security tips for remote workers. Firstly, you should derive specific tools and programs that are to be used by all the employees associated with the organization. Secondly, there needs to be a prohibition on certain actions that involve uploading or transferring files through public websites i.e., transferring files and important messages through Whatsapp, Facebook, Messenger, etc.

Moving forward, the remote policy should also mention a limitation towards accessing and storing a type of information or IT services from working devices. This can bring a long-term assurance of IT security for remote workers. It should also highlight a proper procedure to make a connection to the company’s IT systems or to report an incident if any. To complement these policies, keep these things in mind:

  • Implement multifactor authentication
  • Choose a reliable virtual private network (VPN)
  • Deploy MDM solutions
  • Educate your employees

Endpoint Security is a must

The Covid outbreak made organizations operate on whatever means possible. As everybody had to go indoors, employees were provided company laptops (old or new), mobile devices, or desktop systems at their homes. Moreover, they were also given a choice to use their personal devices for work. This naturally imposes risks to the data and security of an organization. Moreover, in a remote work environment where work devices might be shared with family and friends, a threat to confidential data is again observed.

Now that the situation is sustainable, it is time to consider a security audit. After such a situation, it’s expected that some of the tools used wouldn’t conform to security policies or the devices wouldn’t have up to date operating systems. This easily makes organizations vulnerable to attackers which is why these weak systems should be completely patched. This includes updating any system that is used for the organization’s work, setting up passwords to access it, enabling locking feature after a few minutes of inactivity, etc.

Endpoint Protection

Authorized software

Employees need tools to get their work going and there are high chances that they may use public online applications to share files or messages with their colleagues. Now is the right time to assess your employees’ application needs, provide relevant tools and applications, and setting strict policies around them. As monitoring a lot of applications can be difficult, its recommended to reduce the number of applications and tools and making the most of the feature the tools that are being used has to offer.

Keep a check that the software used should also be up to date and shouldn’t have any vulnerabilities exposed that lead to any malicious activity. Furthermore, organizations should know where their data is located and the existing controls in order to ensure compliance with data management policies and regulations and also remote employee data security. 

Connecting to the corporate network

Let’s agree that data is the foundation of any organization’s operations and a secure connection is a must. Connecting to the company network without a virtual private network (VPN) is a disaster to the data security. People using remote access features baked into the operating system are possibly inviting a bunch of risks to their organization. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) comes with benefits but also a set of security vulnerabilities and can also be a center of force attacks where attackers might try to figure out your credentials through stealing or legitimate phishing attacks. 

A VPN ensures not just a secure connection but also complies with the policy which makes it impossible for non-compliant systems to access the network. A VPN also provides a multifactor authentication to match the user logging on to the network by sending them confirmation on their secondary device before granting access. This particular step eliminates a lot of system invasions, physical and virtual both.

Need to be aware of security (employees' security hygiene)

When you invest so much of your time and efforts in data security for remote workers, it is also essential to educate your employees regarding the same. Your employee can be tricked to commit a mistake that can get your important information stolen in spite of the infrastructure security. To keep your network safe lies in the hands of your employees because a single click on a malicious link can lead to a data breach. 

This is why it’s crucial for your employees to be aware of these scams, frauds to always be conscious and not be a victim of them. Apart from just a security policy, keep reminding them of the dos and don’ts around cybersecurity. Ping them often to remind logging out before they shut down work, and also ensure that they keep their systems up to date and patch-free.

How to safeguard yourself?

IT security for remote workers is paramount for any business that has a foundation of confidential data and has switched to work from home culture. When you partner with TGVT’s cybersecurity services, you receive antivirus installation, virus removal, firewall installation & configuration, spyware removal, end-point systems as well as internet optimization.

Our IT experts give you a sense of belief by configuring program settings individually to ensure the best combination of permissions for easy accessibility to services as well as the most optimum configuration of security settings, scanning spyware blocking, absolute spyware protection, anti-spyware installation, pop-up-blocking, firewall installation and more. 

Steve Loyer

With over 25 years of sales and service experience in network and network security solutions, Steve has earned technical and sales certificates from Microsoft, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Citrix, Sonicwall, Symantec, McAfee, Barracuda and American Power Conversion. Steve graduated from Vermont Technical College with a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technology.

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