6 Ways to Improve Your Remote Business Cyber Security – Business Quick Magazine
In a world where many offices were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners and leaders are finding that remote and hybrid work improves productivity, not to mention that remote workers significantly reduce overhead costs.
But running a remote company can have a nasty downside, and it’s very likely not what you think.
Having a remote workforce can increase a business’s chances of a cybersecurity breach.
So how do you ensure your remote workers work securely in this new environment?
Here are 6 ways to keep your remote business cyber secure…
1. Create a Cyber Security Policy for remote workers to follow
The first step in protecting company data is to ensure that all your employees follow the correct data protection protocol. Employees are often the root cause of security issues, as shortcuts are often taken when setting passwords and protecting data.
Remote workers may think they’re entering a system from a secure environment, when in fact they’re leaving the door wide open for criminals.
A well-thought-out yet easy-to-follow cybersecurity policy will outline everything your team needs to do to stay secure when working remotely. Your policy should include ensuring that your team uses strong passwords for their accounts and that they log into services with a VPN for remote access.
Your cybersecurity policy should also define which applications, programs, resources, and tools are safe for your remote employees to use when handling personal business data.
More about secure network connections
Accessing an unsecured Wi-Fi network is one of the most common ways companies encounter a security breach.
Unfortunately, many remote workers have moved to using standard Wi-Fi connections, smartphone 5G and home routers to connect to the office. These services aren’t always as secure as we think they are, and business data security suffers because of it.
The easiest option for companies looking for better network protection may be to implement a VPN. Asking your employees to use a VPN ensures that they have a direct and secure way to connect to the business network and access important information.
Make sure the VPN you choose covers every level of encryption that’s important to your team.
2. Train your systems and team on data security
For your team members who help build your systems and protect your data, advanced cybersecurity training like TryHackMe’s cutting-edge Red Team Hacker Academy is an absolute must.
Ensuring one of the most important teams in your business refreshes some of the key topics is vital to their work protecting your business’s data and systems. Help your team help your business stay abreast of threats and evolutions and fulfill their responsibilities to the best standards.
3. Consider using password managers to make account security easier
Password security is another important part of running a secure business in the age of remote work. Unfortunately, the average human being’s ability to remember many different passwords for many different applications is limited.
So the result is that employees use repetitive passwords. Guilty.
While you can go some way to inspiring your team to choose more secure passwords, a password management solution can be a safer and even easier option.
Password managers allow team members to access various tools with just one set of credentials. This means they only have one code to remember – this should be a simple solution.
4: Implement two-factor authentication to further reduce risk
As I explained above, a password manager can help make your remote team accounts more secure – but we know that passwords still only offer one layer of protection. Two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA) can be a fantastic choice for businesses looking to improve the security of remote teams.
2FA helps by adding an extra layer of security when logging into a secure account. Consider services like PayPal that require you to enter a code from your phone or call you before accessing your account. Or Xero partnering with the authentication app or insisting on a code to be retrieved from a backup email. 2FA is a great solution, so even if someone knows your staff member’s password, it won’t be enough to get them into their account.
Multi-factor authentication is becoming more advanced. Today, it is possible to build strategies that use password and biometric data to protect services. Your employees can even protect their data with a fingerprint or retina scan.
5. Consider taking out cyber security insurance to protect you if the worst happens
Cyber insurance helps cover the costs your business may incur following a cyber attack or security breach. Apart from hacking or attack protection, it can also cover financial losses caused by your company’s website being damaged or your ISP going down, along with legal defense costs for a number of scenarios.
6: Get the basics right first and build from there
While the advanced offerings explained above may be a wise step forward for many businesses (not just those with remote teams), it’s worth noting that the basic fundamentals of cybersecurity are still very important. And the basics can often be overlooked.
Encryption software with your video conferencing and messaging software is a must in the remote world.
Don’t neglect your antivirus, anti-malware, anti-phishing, and firewalls
It’s also worth making sure your employees have up-to-date security systems on all the devices they use, such as anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-phishing software. There are even firewalls available that cover everything from tablets and PCs to smartphones and other mobile devices.
Keep mobile apps up to date
Don’t forget that mobile device management tools can also help your team leaders ensure that apps and security services stay up-to-date on your team’s devices.
These services allow you to remotely deploy patches, remove dangerous data from an employee’s hard drive, and even blacklist certain applications.
Avoid compromising the security of your remote business by following these tips
Hiring a remote workforce doesn’t mean you have to compromise data security. Once remote workers are fully educated on the importance of working securely and you have the right tools, training, policies and protocols in place, you can enjoy all the benefits of a remote business without worrying about security threats.