Remote work environments are becoming the norm in many industries. While there are advantages to telecommuting, it is also important to consider the possible security risks. Network and data security concerns need to be explored before shifting any part of your business to a remote work setting.
Employee Security Training
Image via Flickr by Yu. Samoilov
Most companies hire their employees for their specific skill sets related to the open position. The majority of new hires, however, do not have the knowledge or in-depth skills in network and data security. Requiring new employees to take a course in these areas can help protect the information of the business.
Security training can teach remote employees the signs of a security breach. By providing employees with these useful security skills, businesses can better protect their confidential information. Training can also educate remote employees on important security business practices and protocols including cache cleanings, wear protection, and encryptions.
Supply Remote Equipment
Not all businesses supply remote workers with needed equipment. However, the companies that do provide workers with remote equipment — including desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and business designated software programs — might find it easier to implement advanced security measures. Although this is an added expense, it might be worth the increase in security.
Businesses tend to have more control over the use of a remote employee’s devices when they are provided by the employer. Businesses can better implement security measures, including physical security devices like laptop locks, when the device is not in use. They also have more control as to which programs and sites are accessed via the electronic device. Businesses can pre-set security settings like multi-factor authentication, consent to apps, and secure transfers.
Email is one of the most common forms of communication for virtual workers. It is also a commonly overlooked security threat. When remote employees communicate and discuss confidential information via non-encrypted email servers, businesses information is at risk. This form of communication becomes even more problematic when files are uploaded and transferred over unencrypted email servers.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve the security of email communication. It can be useful to move all employees to a work email server that is encrypted or to provide all employees with a VPN to encrypt all email communications within the business.
Implement a Secure Cloud
Because the cloud is a set of shared resources, it can be difficult to guarantee a secure cloud. Fortunately, there are companies and programs that improve the security settings of the cloud. Implementing these types of settings allows employees to focus on their daily work and to put security requirements at the back of their mind.
Ensuring a secure cloud also protects businesses from failing to meet minimum security regulations. When security is left to those that specialize in it, the business can focus on more important tasks, like user experience.
There are many advantages to remote work settings but ignoring security requirements can quickly eliminate those benefits. Make sure your business is taking the necessary data security prevention steps.