While many workers have returned to offices across the country, plenty of others remain working from home. This remote or hybrid working environment does not look set to change any time soon, not least because of the range of benefits that flexible working can deliver to both employers and employees.
From a business continuity planning perspective, it is essential to make sure that your company IT systems and data are protected when employees are working remotely. Here are our 8 tips to help you ensure your company stays safe and your staff stay secure when they are away from the office.
- Security software
The number one way to keep your computers and devices secure – install security software on them. This should comprise of antivirus, ransom protection, anti-malware, and firewalls. If you’ve heard that Apple devices can’t get viruses, please be aware that simply isn’t true (and in fact, the very first virus was detected on an Apple computer…).
- Use a VPN for employees to work through
If you have employees working from home or different locations a VPN is a great way to secure the data which is being sent back and forth. A remote access VPN creates an encrypted virtual tunnel between an employee’s device and your network. It uses the public internet, but all the data is shielded by encryption and security protocols to help keep it private and secure.
- Help staff secure their home routers
When your staff are working remotely then it’s worth looking into whether their home routers are secure. If they’ve never added a password (or updated the automatic one) for their home router, perhaps it’s worth doing a workshop to explain why it’s important to set a secure password and how to do it.
- Make two-factor authentication a must
If a hacker somehow gets hold of your password and tries to access email or other accounts, two-factor authentication means that they will remain locked out. That’s because instead of immediately gaining access when they put in your password, they will need to provide another piece of information. That might be in the form of a SMS message with a code or provide approval via an app on a mobile device.
- Keep software and operating systems up to date
It’s essential to keep software and operating systems on all work computers and devices up to date if you want to protect your systems from cyber-attacks. Why? Software updates will include repairing security holes that have been discovered and fixing or removing software bugs. Updates can also add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones and they too might include security features.
- Enable automatic locking on devices
If your staff work on sensitive or personal data, you might not want anyone who doesn’t work for your company to see it. When staff are working from home, they might have other people in their home (cleaners, family members, tradespeople etc) and decide they need to stop those people seeing their screen. Making it company policy to enable automatic locking on all devices (with a relatively short activation time!) is a useful way to ensure if your staff get distracted and walk away from their computer or laptop, it will shut down quickly.
- Enable ‘find my device’ and remote wiping
In a similar vein, ensuring that you can track down or remove data from computers and mobile devices is a good move too. That way, if the worst were to happen and a device was lost or stolen you can do your best to find it and then wipe the data from it if you fail.
- Invest in a password manager system
If you’re worried about staff using simple passwords or the same one for all their accounts, why not invest in a password manager system? That way they can store unique, strong passwords for all the different software and systems they use in it and not have to worry about remembering them all.
At Datalibrium we can assist businesses with all aspects of technical support for remote workers, including cyber security support. Take a closer look at our services or drop our team a line to learn more.