Today’s workplace extends from the office to anywhere and everywhere as work-from-home models become more popular. As advantageous as modern technology is for allowing us to work from anywhere, it can also give cyber criminals a means to obtain sensitive information that can devastate organizations.
As IT extends far and wide to accommodate telecommuters, businesses have adopted tighter cyber security measures to protect their sensitive data. In addition to these high-tech measures, there are some simple ways you and your employees can further safeguard the data that passes from wherever they work to your home base. Here are some suggestions:
Leverage Multiple Security Measures
You may think your antivirus software is enough, but in reality, it might be hacked rather easily. This being the case, it’s crucial to implement cloud disaster recovery and other security measures to ensure your valuable data is always safe and backed up. With disaster recovery, you’ll be able to recover any data should a loss or breach occur.
Enforce a Solid Password Policy
Using strong passwords and changing them regularly can reduce the risk of a hacker invasion. Unfortunately, many people don’t like to change their passwords because it makes it difficult to remember logins.
Implement a mandatory password policy that forces your staff to use strong passwords, and insist that they change these passwords regularly. If your workers procrastinate on this important task, give them no option by changing their passwords for them.
Update Software and Hardware Regularly
Any portal to the internet is vulnerable to cyberattacks. As a result, you must make sure all your software is routinely updated as needed. These updates usually contain the latest security measures designed to combat current cyber threats. If you ignore updates when they pop up, you’re leaving your company’s sensitive information vulnerable to anyone with ill intentions.
Use a VPN
Whether you employ remote workers or not, using a VPN will reduce the risk that anyone other than authorized personnel will gain access to your company’s information. A VPN, or virtual private network, is a secure, private network that all employees log into to do work for your company. VPNs are accessible from anywhere as long as the user has the correct login information, which is why this security measure is a must if you employ remote workers.
Discontinue Unused Services
When apps or software expire, make sure to disable or delete them, as well as all their associated login and company information. This will eliminate the pathway they could otherwise provide into your IT portals. Also, if you don’t use all aspects of an application—the chat feature, for instance—disable it so no one can access your IT’s backend without permission.
Not all attempts to hack into your systems are obvious. In fact, many begin as innocuous-looking emails that are, in reality, intended to dupe the receiver into divulging crucial information.
Educate your staff on the ins and outs of phishing, and let them know they can come to you without fear of repercussion should they fall victim to a phishing attempt. Let them know that the sooner they come to you, the more likely it is the IT department will be able to ward off the attack.
Technology is a marvellous thing, allowing employees to work from anywhere and enabling businesses to reach greater heights than ever before. Of course, it also has a dark side, and that dark side is populated by a lot of bad actors. Thankfully, by implementing the suggestions above, you can protect your company’s data from these cyber criminals.
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