It's no secret in the industry that the more remote workers you have, the more vulnerabilities you open up in your business network. With the pandemic kicking the country in the teeth, having a workforce that works almost exclusively remotely is now a fact of life. This new normal is an old nightmare for IT security professionals, which is now amplified like never before.
Here are steps you can take immediately to protect your workers, and your network, during this unprecedented crisis.
Establish a Cybersecurity Policy
Now that almost all employees are working remotely, securing the company network also means securing their home network. Get your workers on the same page about what they need to do to secure the company's data by securing their home network. Employees also need to know the plan in case of a breach.
Secure All Internet Connections
For workers' home networks, ensure your employees use WPA2 or higher and use a complex password for their network that didn't come with their home router.
For times when your workers use other networks, especially those used in coffee shops, provide your employees access to a trustworthy VPN service to secure your connection to your company's network.
Secure Your Connected Personal Devices
The longer a worker is out of the office, the more likely they'll need to work on their own devices. Personal devices represent a massive risk to cybersecurity, as employees are typically laxer about security measures on these devices than they are with their workstations in the office.
Tighten up any BYOD protocols and make sure every employee sticks to all necessary security measures, regardless of which device they use.
If you issue devices to your workers, equip each machine with remote wipe and GPS capabilities to further prevent bad actors from accessing sensitive data on those devices.
Use a Password Manager
You never want to use the same password on multiple sites; a password manager can let you produce long and complicated passwords to implement on every service you use that requires a password. Also, password managers can sort your passwords so you can keep track of them all. You and your employees can keep your network secure without the hassle of needing to remember all of their passwords.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication requires a username and password, plus at least one additional form of verification to make sure you are the person who is accessing your account. This extra verification can come in the form of a passcode in an SMS message, a retina scan, or fingerprint verification.
Encrypt Your Data
If a worker loses a work device or gets it stolen, you can still protect your data by installing encryption software before the loss occurred. Also, be sure every communication program you use comes with end-to-end encryption as the default. This encryption will allow you and your employees to share critical documents safely and securely.
Teach your workers to treat their home internet security as seriously as they would handle it in the office. Train them to follow the same protocols that keep the workplace safe; this level of security vigilance is necessary to protect your network and all of your workers as we work remotely for the foreseeable future.