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How to Increase Remote Work Security to Protect Sensitive Data

by Emma Wilson

Due to Coronavirus restrictions, your employees must work remotely. Remote work security is an afterthought.

You don’t have the time nor the resources to enhance remote team security. What would you say if the result could be the undoing of your business? According to statistics, 60% of small businesses that undergo data breaches go under in six months.

Unsecured remote work systems will leave data vulnerable. If hackers gain access to credit card information, the reputation of your business will suffer immensely.

You must devote time and resources to notifying all victims. Further, the government could impose heavy fines on your business. However, you can prevent catastrophe by setting up a secure remote working environment.

This article will show you how to create a remote team security regimen. Let’s explore. 

Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks 

Public networks are dangerous because anyone using the network can access your data. With no firewall in place, bad actors can access your computer from any location.

Additionally, public networks aren’t encrypted. This means outside observers can access your traffic. 

If you must work in public, use a hotspot instead of a public network. A hotspot is a private network. Even though your hotspot won’t have encryption, it will be much harder for hackers to probe a private network. 

Data Encryption 

Data encryption is especially useful during email exchanges. Sending an email to another party is risky because hackers could intercept the email.

Many remote workers send sensitive information via email. The sensitive information could be company documents or personal banking information. Encrypt the email attachments to keep prying eyes at bay. Besides email protection, data encryption has the following benefits:

  • Service providers cannot access your data
  • Encryption helps workers adhere to regulations, especially regulations governing credit card data
  • Encryption protects all of your backups
  • Encrypted data remains protected even if someone steals your hardware

Physical Security

As a remote worker, your equipment is more valuable. If your devices get lost or stolen, your company could be in serious trouble, especially if you’re in vital industries such as healthcare. Lost or stolen hardware constitutes compromised data, which can result in fines and other penalties. 

Above all, keep your doors locked at all times. Moreover, keep hardware stored in a safe location, especially if you live with other people.

Hardware that’s left in the open could get damaged by mistake. Also, someone could pick up your equipment casually and misplace it. 

If you’re on the road, don’t leave your hardware in the car unattended. Someone may be watching from afar and notice your devices. 

You may feel tempted to leave your hardware in the trunk of your car, but this is a mistake. Thieves could still access your trunk. Plus, devices left in the trunk could sustain damage as the car moves. 

Password Security 

Many people don’t change their router passwords when it’s installed. If you don’t have a new password in place, an outside party could access your devices. That said, the new password should be strong. You can create a secure password by:

  • Using a mixture of upper and lower case letters
  • Using numbers and symbols
  • Avoiding personal info (i.e. part of your social security number)

Further, don’t use the same password across multiple platforms. With so many passwords to keep track of, many people write their passwords in a notebook or pad.

Avoid writing them down at all costs. Someone could find the password and use it to access your devices. Rather, choose an app that allows you to manage multiple passwords

Password Sharing

You may encounter a situation where another remote worker asks you to share a password. This is a fatal mistake that often leads to breached networks.

When it comes to team password management, each employee should have a separate password. If you must share the password, change the password immediately when the employee is finished with it.  

Be Aware of Your Surroundings 

Additional security will mean nothing if you’re not mindful of who may be watching you. If you’re in a coffee shop, for example, pay attention to who may be behind you.

Cybercriminals tend to be in coffee shops and can read sensitive information from afar. The best thing you can do is block your line of sight with an object or barrier. 

If you must use the restroom or step outside, take your hardware with you. Don’t leave your equipment unattended. Criminals could access your hardware using a thumb drive that processes data quickly. 

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing will assess the strength of your network. The testers act like hackers and use the latest hacking techniques to breach your network. The tester can test how your system responds to such threats as viruses, phishing scams, or malware.

Penetration testing will pinpoint vulnerabilities within your system. From there, the tester can recommend the best tools that will upgrade your system. 

Remote Work Security Done the Right Way

To enhance remote work security, use a private network, lock your doors at all times, change your router password, and know who may be watching you in public. One of the best tools to use in your security arsenal is data encryption.

Data encryption can protect sensitive information even if someone steals your hardware. Individual security measures are important, but companies should have remote working policies in place that all employees must follow. 

Want to know how to protect your information using the cloud? Click here to learn more.