Over the last few years, remote work has become the norm for many individuals globally. However, due to Covid-19, millions of individuals have had to transition to a work-from-home environment.
Even though working remotely, specifically from homes, results in a better work-life balance, saving money and time for organizations, and potentially increases employee productivity, the risks of a security breach for organizations go up drastically.
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In fact, according to a report by the Information Security Forum (ISF), there has been a substantial increase in cybercrime attacks that target individuals and organizations due to the Covid-19 "opportunity.” Organizations need to take the following steps to ensure remote workspace security:
1) Create a VPN Gateway
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps enhance security by enabling secure access from your employee's device to your internal company network. Your organization's cybersecurity measures are extended to the VPN gateway, which in turn acts as a secure tunnel for your employees to work on as an extension of your company's network.
However, it is crucial to keep in mind that employees should access the VPN gateways using company-owned, properly configured hardware to ensure high-security levels. The reason for this is that even though communication through a VPN is protected, your employee's device could transmit infected data if the said device is compromised. It is also critical to ensure that your employees have up to date antivirus and firewall software on their devices.
2) Create a remote work policy
Your organization should set clear rules for employees for remote work. Specifically, the following items should be covered:
a) Can your employees use personal devices while working remotely?
b) What data can your employees download on their remote devices?
c) Are your employees permitted to install software that is not related to their work on their remote devices?
d) The methodology to report suspected cyberattacks when your employees are working remotely.
3) Do not use consumer-facing file storage solutions
It may be tempting to allow your employees to use consumer-facing file storage solutions such as Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, etc., because of their ubiquity and low costs. However, most of these file storage solutions do not enforce enterprise-level security controls. Such consumer-facing They typically do not have features like file encryption, shared team folders, identity and access management (IAM), and multi-level access control.
As a result, any sensitive company information stored in such file storage solutions is vulnerable to cyber-breaches, hacks, and attacks. Evaluate remote file storage solutions like the ones offered by Triofox.com. You can empower your remote employees by providing access to a remote file server access solution for their remote devices. What's more, you can extend your existing company infrastructure's Active Directory setup and enable role-based access as well.
4) Train employees on how to work remotely in a secure manner
You must have regular training sessions for your employees on security best practices to follow while working remotely. It is essential to ensure that your entire employee base understands what confidential information is and the implications of data breaches. Some aspects to keep in mind are:
a) Educate employees about phishing and other online threats
b) Provide both technical and theoretical training on information security
c) Provide company-wide training on information security in a top-down manner from the CXO level staff downwards.
d) Repeat security training and carry out security audits periodically to ensure the implementation of the disseminated information.
There are many advantages to remote working, and more and more employees are embracing this trend nowadays. However, organizations must enforce strict security policies to protect sensitive data to protect themselves from cyberthreats.