How to keep your employees and data safe whilst working remotely

Posted on 25/03/2020

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With the arrival of COVID-19, remote working has become a necessity rather than a work perk for many organisations up and down the country. Find out how to keep your employees and data safe online during these unprecedented times. 

Many businesses that hadn’t experienced working from home prior to the COVID-19 outbreak have been left unprepared, scrambling to find the right resources to support their workforce going forward, and at an increased vulnerability to cyber attacks.

In these times of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to implement the appropriate security measures to keep your data and organisation safe from cyber threats and incidents. Here are the steps you can take to protect your workers and company whilst working remotely.

 

Be wary of phishing

Sadly it didn’t take long for hackers to begin taking advantage of the situation, with a huge spike in phishing emails relating to coronavirus reported since early March. Whilst it’s always important to be wary of phishing, businesses and end users now need to be taking extra precautions to protect themselves from this kind of scam.

If you receive an email or any form of communication that requests personal information such as log in details and bank account numbers, this should be treated with extreme caution. Where possible, pick up the phone to the sender and make sure the request you’ve received is legitimate. And remember, if in doubt – delete!

 

Secure internet connections

Public WiFi is a hackers dream and should be discouraged on any corporate device without having a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in place. Using a VPN will allow your employees’ browsing and data to remain encrypted, helping to keep your organisation protected across all WiFi networks. Unbeknown to some, your home WiFi isn’t always safe, so using a VPN at all times is recommended to keep your data safe.

 

Using cloud services & collaborative tools

Using cloud services and collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams are not only convenient for remote working, but they are also much more secure. Platforms like Teams use end-to-end encryption and store data privately, meaning that your team can work remotely whilst not having to worry about your data being intercepted by hackers.

Take a look at our post around how to boost your cloud security to make sure you’re keeping your organisation safe, and to reduce the risk of cyber attacks occurring through cloud-based applications.

 

Manage user privileges

One of the most important tasks to do to prepare for remote working is to correctly manage user privileges. When users have unnecessary system privileges or access to data, there is a risk that accounts can be misused, whether that’s through accidental or deliberate human error.

Making sure each user is only given the minimum level of permission required for them to carry out their role, and only allowing high privileges on a strict basis, will minimise the risks of data falling into the wrong hands.

 

Use multi-factor authentication & strong passwords

Employees working remotely may be working around other people – so ensuring they have strong and varied passwords is critical to preventing anyone other than the intended user gaining access to accounts. Implementing a password policy to provide clear guidelines passwords will help your employees create those harder-to-hack passwords and boost security.

As well as this, adopting multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the easiest, yet most highly effective ways to improve your security. Using this type of login requires an additional element such as a thumbprint or unique code, making it much more difficult for unauthorized users to login.

Applying these simple cyber security measures makes it much easier to manage who can access your accounts and data, keeping remote working much more secure.

 

Employee awareness & training

Whether you’re completely new to remote working, or it’s something that’s already in place at your organisation, it’s important to educate and train your employees on how to keep your data and devices as safe as possible during this time. Communicating your cyber security policy to all employees is key to developing a cyber safe culture within your workforce.

Delivering regular user awareness training will help to train your workers on the risks and threats of working remotely, and will help ensure they follow best practice to reduce the risk of your organisation being hit by a security breach.

Our structured cyber awareness training programme is delivered online, which is perfect for these times where your team may have already started working remotely and you want to make sure that your data is kept safe and secure.

 

Partner with an MSSP

One of the most effective ways to keep your employees and data safe whilst working remotely is to partner with a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) and invest in managed cyber security for your organisation.

Air Sec’s cyber packages deliver 360° protection for your IT environment, data and your users. As well as this, we detect and respond to the latest cyber security threats before they have a chance to impact operations and reputation. You can rest assured knowing that employees will have complete protection, whether they are in the office or working remotely.

 

Keep your employees & data safe

If you’d like to find out more about how to keep your organisation safe whilst working remotely, get in touch and speak to one of our experts today. We’re here to help you through this time of uncertainty.

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