How to Maintain Data Security When Employees Work Remotely
By Veriato - December 24, 2018
We all know the perks of allowing employees to work remotely. From lower overhead (fewer snacks and drinks to provide) to increased productivity and job satisfaction, working from home is becoming more and more common in today's business landscape.
Unfortunately, this system comes with many data security risks to consider. With so many devices being used for work and various network connections to monitor, how can you allow your employees to work remotely and still maintain data security?
Luckily there are many steps cybersecurity teams can take to ensure data security and employee safety.
First and foremost, educate your employees about the security risks of working remotely. If employees are made aware of the dangers, they will be more likely to comply with your security procedures. Most likely, employees aren't thinking of data security risks; they're just trying to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. By educating them on the reasons behind security protocol, they will feel valued, trusted, and personally invested in doing their part to protect company data.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a way to extend your private, secure company network across a public network. Employees log in remotely to your VPN (you should also enforce strict password requirements) and are able to work securely from their various networks. You should require a VPN to be in use before any employee can access company data to keep your information secure from unprotected networks. VPN is an affordable and vital tool for any organization with remote employees.
It would be best if you also regulated software on any device used for work. Controlling the tools your employees use allows you to manage any data security risks. If everyone used software of their choice, you would be unable to keep up with each program's needs. Additionally, regulated software provides compatibility and continuity between different employees' work.
If you haven't authorized automatic updates across employee devices, do so now. Developers often release patches and updates once a security flaw is brought to their attention. Keeping all applications and systems fully up-to-date ensures no device is susceptible to a known risk. If left on their own, employees will often opt out of system updates because they seem inconvenient. However, by authorizing automatic updates, you can be sure that all devices will update as soon as any fixes are made available, without needing permissions from the employee.
As an employer, you have the right to protect your company's information and know what your employees are doing with it. Employee monitoring software on devices helps you catch any suspicious or unsafe user activity so you can intervene and protect your information. The biggest threat to a company is its employees, so monitoring user behavior is a vital component to maintaining security when employees work remotely.
Finally, set up theft protection measures on employee devices. You can install remote wipe apps that allow you to delete all data on a device if it has been stolen. You can also invest in whole disk encryption so that if someone steals the device, they will be unable to access any information on it.
By educating your employees and using the power of software, maintaining data security when employees work remotely is entirely possible for today's security teams. Taking a few simple steps and making some smart system investments will allow your workforce the freedom of working wherever is best for them – securely.
What is Remote Employee Monitoring?
The remote global workforce is here to stay. A full third of companies allow some employees to work from home, with up to 25% of Americans telecommuting at least once a week. With new communication technologies, remote employees are fully enabled to get their job done, no matter where they are. But how do we monitor remote employees? The answer is remote employee monitoring software.
How Does Remote Employee Monitoring Software Work?
Employee monitoring software allows employers to record and track each of their employee's online activity. This software can provide a wealth of data regarding your employees' online activities, including a history of each employee's:
- Web searches
- Website visits
- File movement
- Emails and instant messaging
- Network access
- Social media
- Application use
- Print requests
- USB device use
- Uploads and downloads
Using this software, employers can discover what their remote employees are actually spending their time on. This makes it easy for employers to track employees' productivity, keep tabs on company-owned computers, identify potential wrongdoing, and protect their sensitive data.
Monitoring software will even take screenshots of each employee's computer screen throughout the day. These screenshots can be used as proof when confronting employees about poor productivity or taking legal action against employees for misconduct.
Is Remote Employee Monitoring Software Detectable?
It is up to every employer to decide whether or not they want to tell their employees that they are being monitored. If you choose to keep this information from your employees, there's no need to worry about them detecting the software on their own.
Employee monitoring software can run in stealth mode, which means your employees will not be able to see that it's active on their computer. The solution is also cloud-based software, so you won't need to purchase any hardware in order to monitor your employees' online activity.
Watch the Remote Employee Monitoring Webinar Replay
There's no doubt that remote employee monitoring software can benefit companies who employ remote workers.
Learn more about remote employee monitoring by watching the webinar replay in the link below. Join Insider Threat expert, Nick Cavalancia from Techvangelism as he discusses various topics, including:
- The challenges of gauging productivity
- Measurable results
- Connectivity to the office
- Application-specific activity
- How long to measure
- What comparisons should be made
- Measuring productivity with User Activity Monitoring
To watch this webinar, simply Visit our webinar page: