Today, over 3.7 million Americans wake up and log on their computers to start their work day. This is how some businesses operate in the 21st century. The convenience, cost, and effectiveness of remote working have enabled most businesses to adopt this model in furtherance of their business objectives. In a 2016 study by the Global Workplace Analytics, over 50% of the workforce in the United States is now allowed the benefit of partially working from home.
Initially, this trend seemed strange, but as time goes by, it is now becoming the norm. The ability to work remotely especially for the non-self-employed population, has gone over and beyond the 100% increase mark since 2005.
While it is exciting for both the employer and the employee to work remotely, there are certain factors that should be closely examined and discussed to ensure that information security is a top agenda. Information security professionals advise employers to put in place the following security measures if their employees are to be safeguarded when working remotely.
Protection for Employees Working from Home
If your remote working model means employees working from their homes, some of the things you need to consider include usage of strong, cryptic passwords on all accounts whether personal or work accounts. Also ensure they do not duplicate passwords. The two factor authentication system is important because it gives your employees an additional layer of security for their accounts.
All the work devices should be installed with credible antivirus software, firewalls, web filtering and encryption systems like the Dell SonicWALL. These antiviruses and firewalls must always be updated so as to keep them up to the challenge with regards to information security.
If you have an IT department, you can work with them so as to set up a virtual private network which means an additional security measure on your employees’ home internet.
Employees Working in Other Places Apart from Home
There is also a possibility that your employees could utilize malls, business parks, and other joint spaces as they work remotely. To ensure that they are still protected even in these setups, their devices must always be password protected.
You should also advise them against accessing sensitive company information on unsecured networks or Wi-Fi. This is because public Wi-Fi may compromise personal and professional accounts and enhance the risks of signal sniffing. A majority of hackers put up accounts that resemble the names of frequented locations with the aim of stealing important information and data from users.
Using a VPN (virtual private network) when accessing company data and setting up your phone as a hotspot can be viable alternatives to safeguarding your information.
A Cybersecurity Policy for Employees
In order to foster an environment that is strongly committed to cybersecurity, employers must come up with cybersecurity policies that prioritize staff training on security matters. Remind your employees on the value of information and the responsibility that the company has in protecting such information.
When creating the cybersecurity policy, identify the security risks as well as threats that your business faces and develop clear procedures for all employees irrespective of where they are. This will ensure your company data and employees are safeguarded even as they work remotely.