If your business adapted a virtual office environment during COVID-19, developing a remote work policy is critical for securing confidential data. Whether you're updating an existing remote work policy or starting one from scratch, there's no better time to make sure you're protecting the valuable data your remote workers are taking out into the world.
How should you secure data with remote employees?
We've got three tips to help you put together an ironclad data security plan for your virtual employees.
Create a Secure Connection
When your employees take their laptops out of the office, they're leaving the safety of your secure in-office network.
Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) for your remote workers. A VPN eliminates worries about remote workers accessing corporate data on their private computers or using an unsecured public connection. Set up multi-factor identification to avoid data breaches for even more security for remote workers.
According to a Cisco report, nearly 6% of employees admitted to transferring files between work and personal computers when working from home, a high-risk behavior that puts your company's data at risk. You may also want to consider a remote desktop security layer, which can limit business files from being copied or saved to your employees' personal computers.
PROTECT YOUR DATA NO MATTER WHERE YOUR WORKFORCE IS
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Defend Against Breaches
An essential aspect of a security strategy is protecting your remote workers' devices from viruses, malware, and unauthorized access. Train your remote workforce on computer security best practices, such as regularly updating operating systems and applications, and only installing trusted security software.
Find out which cyber risks business owners face. Read 10 Things Every Small Business Should Know About Cyber Risks.
Use Trusted Webs Apps
Most cloud security providers have tough security measures in place to protect services and users from potential security threats.
"Your data is relatively safe in the cloud -- likely much more so than on your own hard drive," says Malware Bytes, who suggests using a cloud service with two-factor authentication and encryption.
Be sure to use unique and random passwords for data stored on the cloud, and to protect login with two-factor authentication. Don't store all your data in one place, it's always a good idea to back up files in different cloud accounts.
Having a data security plan for remote workers can help protect the sensitive and valuable information your employees need to access, no matter where they set up their work stations. Whether COVID-19 changes to the workforce are temporary or permanent, having a data security policy in place for a remote workforce is a smart business decision.