How to ensure data security for remote workers?

How to ensure data security for remote workers?

Remote workers as freelancers have been common for a long time, but the workforce data security wasn’t huge. A report forecasts that around 42% of employees around the globe are still working from home. The covid-19 pandemic made working from home a new normal

The cybersecurity of this huge amount of workforce is mandatory to safeguard the company from a data breach. But safeguarding the data even within the borders of the office premises is difficult. When this area of attack increases, the loose ends also increase and so does the attacking area. You need to protect remote workers from cyber attacks, even if they are sitting in a different corner of the world.

A detailed list of data security of remote workers

The urge to come up with certain stringent measures to ensure the data security of remote workers has made us come up with some sure shot points you can apply. 

A detailed list of data security of remote workers

1. An elaborated and concrete clear cybersecurity policy for remote works

The first and foremost step we can look up to is to make a clear and detailed cybersecurity policy for remote workers. They are an easy approach for attackers as around 30% of them share their devices with others. 

Outline an elaborated policy and make sure that all your remote employees read it and send a signed copy of the same. A written agreement makes things handy to re-read and abide by the policy.

2. Use Bidirectional Encryption

In remote working data and file transmission increases, this communication needs to be secured to avoid a cyberattack. You can instruct your IT team to develop a secure web platform that should be mandatory to use by every remote worker.

This encryption can be done using SSL certificates. You can buy a COMODO SSL certificate which is not only cheap but also provides the necessary security. However, a secured platform will send only encrypted data.

3. Employ a Virtual Private Network for remote workers

A good deal of virtual private network services is available that you can employ to prevent your data from intruders. You must ensure that all your remote workers use a virtual private network or VPN to connect to the organization’s internal network. Even a cheap VPN acts as a tunnel and encrypts data security flowing between the sender and receiver. The organization must compel them not to use open Wi-Fi networks and ensure using only secured connections.

VPN acts as a tunnel and encrypts data security flowing between the sender and receiver. The organization must compel them not to use open Wi-Fi networks and ensure using only secured connections.

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4. Unique and firm password policies

Password protection is of utmost importance and abiding by some stringent password policies makes your data secure. Always use unique passwords for different uses. 

Never use the same password as the one you use for your social media accounts, as they are more prone to attack. Always use a combination of alphabets, numbers, and special keys and come up with something unique which is not easily guessable.

5. Use of two-factor authentication for remote workers 

To add that extra layer of security to your organization’s data and information, apply two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication is something that rules out the chances of hacking. 

Even if a hacker gets to know your password, the extra layer of security in the form of an OTP on another device or biometric recognition is something they cannot hack.

A detailed list of data security of remote workers continued

6. Wary of the use of personal devices

Regulating the use of personal devices saves a lot of revenue for the company, but it surely has high-end security issues. An employee’s personal device might not have the necessary security layers installed, and the non-availability of antivirus software or the use of not updated software might cause the data to be prone to breach. The organization should strictly ask remote workers to use only company devices.

7. Work on an update at regular basis for remote workers

It is a well-known fact that software updates come with bug fixes. You need to ensure that your remote employees are well-aware of this fact and perform regular software updates. 

Software updates, plugin and theme updates, and antivirus and anti-malware updates are all necessary to be implemented. This upgrade keeps you a step ahead of hackers.

8. Employee cybersecurity training and awareness programs

An often-avoided step is providing the employees with necessary cybersecurity-related training. Companies often provide such training to in-house employees but neglect it when it comes to remote workers.

Organizations must know that it is equally important for remote workers to undergo such training programs. A one-on-one interaction helps to tighten the security bonds. You can create an online meeting where the necessary awareness programs are carried out.

9. Employ access control and least privilege principles

Another well-known theory is to control the access that an employee gets, for this three-layered privilege policy is applicable. The first layer of privilege is super user, where all users get the right to access, edit, modify and temper a file. It is probably the least secured layer.

Next in the row is the standard user-level privilege, where a few employees get the privileges.

The user level is the most secured privilege option that restricts remote employees from peeping into a secure file. This adds that extra security layer and eliminates the data breach risk.

10. Log out from unattended devices

Employ features in your company software that when the remote employees keep the device unattended, it automatically logs them out. This helps any third-party intruder to get access to your unattended device and take hold of the company’s data or tamper with certain important documents.

Future of Remote Workers and Data Security

If you are an organization that foresees that a good part of your employees will prefer remote working, then you need to get on your toes and look for some stringent security measures to avoid a data breach. 

Above are a few points that will help increase the security level of remote workers. Besides these points, you can also look for some backup options to overcome an attack with ease. The list to ensure data security is endless. So, go for the most desirable security practices concerning your work.

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Authors Bio:

Gunjan Triphati

Gunjan Tripathi is a Digital Marketing Executive at CheapSSLShop. He has an in-depth understanding of the technical, strategic, and commercial aspects of digital marketing. He writes about information management, and digital marketing and also contributes and shares knowledge about cyber security based on his proven and extensive experience. LinkedIn