There’s so much to love about remote work. From working comfortably in the comfort of your home (clad in your pajamas) to sojourning around the world as a digital nomad while sending your emails. But with all the beauties of remote work comes a huge price: data security.
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When working remotely, there are many things that are out of an employer’s control, from eager bystanders viewing laptop screens to connecting to unsecured networks.
These simple acts may expose confidential company data, which also comes with a host of risks. This is especially true for highly regulated industries such as healthcare institutions and fund administrator companies.
Tips on How to Secure Your Data in the Age of Remote Work
While it may seem like a gargantuan task, protecting your business by ensuring data security is still possible in a remote work environment provided that the necessary guardrails are established. Here’s how you can achieve that:
Establish Robust Cybersecurity Policies
You can’t expect your data to be safe online when your own company can’t enforce cybersecurity policies. That’s why having them is crucial for your remote work culture as it defines the boundaries of what to do and what not to do.
Most importantly, keep these policies documented. If it isn’t documented, it doesn’t exist. Your policies can include the proper use of devices in remote work.
It also helps to mention the consequences of breaking company policy. Writing unambiguous policies on paper makes it easier for your employees to follow them.
To keep your policies relevant, reviewing them periodically helps your policies stay relevant to the current cybersecurity landscape. If any changes to the documents are necessary, update them and disseminate them to the departments involved.
Set Up Remote Access Software
More and more businesses are now transitioning to a remote work setup thanks to its widespread appeal.
Whether you’re considering the shift to remote work or looking to improve your current remote work policies, the first thing you must do is use remote access software. There are plenty of options you can use for your small business, one of them being RemotePC.
These applications allow you to manage other computers provided that they have access to the Internet. Some services include screen sharing or transferring files.
Before choosing the right software, it’s important to have an idea of your operating system requirements. Some only work for computer systems while other applications extend their services to mobile devices.
It’s a given that having a dedicated IT department in your business allows you to enforce these cybersecurity policies. Trained IT professionals can keep your cyber walls up by managing your remote access software.
Train Your Employees
In everything related to cybersecurity, education is crucial. That means you’ll have to conduct seminars and other training programs to instill the values and importance of cybersecurity in your employees.
Training and educating them isn’t a one-time thing – doing them regularly can consistently help protect your confidential data from getting into the wrong hands.
Restrict User Access
Part of keeping the cybersecurity fences up is restricting user access. That means only giving users access to documents that they’ll need to perform their responsibilities.
For example, an employee working in the marketing team shouldn’t have access to confidential research & development documents.
By limiting their access, you prevent the worst-case scenarios from happening in a data leak. In that event, you’ll only have to clean a puddle instead of having to clean up flooded waters.
Restricting access also applies to login credentials. Not everyone should be given access to a shared account if they’re not involved with that team’s functions.
To add an extra cushion of protection, try incorporating two-factor authentication into your login process. Only allow trusted devices, mobile numbers, and emails to approve authentication requests – may it be in the form of an application or a one-time PIN.
What Are the Benefits of Keeping Your Data Secure?
Now that we’ve given you some of the best tips on how to keep your data secure, there are some hidden benefits to maintaining its security. Here are some of them:
Gain Public Confidence
When we think of data breaches, we sometimes just think of the leakage of confidential data. But it’s more than just the loss of data – it’s also the loss of money. What’s worse is that the effects aren’t exactly immediate as they can last years. Think lawsuits and loss of revenues due to eroded public trust.
In the age of remote work, keeping your company data is far from easy. Step by step, there are a few ways you can enhance your cybersecurity – from establishing clear policies to training your employees.
As cyberattackers only get more cunning with their devious acts, ensuring the safety of confidential data is now more important than ever, especially in a remote work environment.