How to Maintain Data Security When Employees Work Remotely
By Veriato - December 24, 2018
How to maintain data security when employees work remotely
We all know the perks of allowing employees to work remotely. From lower overhead (less 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, with this system comes 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 cyber security 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 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.
You should also regulate 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 own choosing, 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 makes sure 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 completely 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.