How to Safeguard Data When the Majority of Your Workforce is Remote

How to Safeguard Data When the Majority of Your Workforce is Remote

When the majority of your workforce is remote, there are some special challenges that have to be addressed. Perhaps the biggest of these challenges is the need to maintain proper security. The importance of data security for any company cannot be overestimated. Data breaches can give your competitors a lot of useful information about you, and it can also destroy any trust that the public may have in your business. Let’s talk about a few specific solutions that should help in this department.

Use A Company VPN Network

In general, home networks are not very well-secured. That’s because, in most cases, they don’t have to be. However, there is much more motivation for a hacker to intrude on a corporate network, so you need to keep that door tightly closed. One of the best ways to do this is to create a company VPN network for all your employees to use.

A VPN (or virtual private network) creates an encrypted tunnel between you and the network, making it virtually impossible for outside parties to intervene. It should be noted that a VPN is not 100% impregnable, but it’s as close as you’re going to get! An attacker is extremely unlikely to break the encryption of a well-made VPN.

However, it is vitally important that your employees are careful with the network password. Hackers and other intruders can potentially gain access by hacking an employee’s home network. If the password to your company’s VPN network is stored anywhere on the computer, they can probably find it with ease. Make sure that none of your employees store the password on their computer unless it is contained in a well-encrypted folder.

Change Passwords Frequently

As we already mentioned, passwords can often be weak points through which a hacker can gain access. Former employees (and/or disgruntled employees) can thus become a major security risk. If a hacker can’t gain access to the network directly, they might be able to enlist the help of such people. To prevent this, you should change the network password on a semi-regular basis. We would recommend once a month, or anytime you fire an employee.

Hire A Network Monitor

In most cases where hackers succeed, they succeed because they caught someone with their pants down. What we mean is that they look for people and networks that are neither secured nor monitored. Their activities will often be quite easy to detect, but only if someone happens to be looking.

That’s where the use of a network monitor comes into play. Using programs like Wireshark and Nmap, you can keep a constant watch on the network. These will tell you who is connected, what machines and networks are connected to them, and what kind of data is being sent and received. Although it does take a little bit of expertise to interpret this kind of thing, diligent monitoring is the surest way to keep your network safe.

Give Your Employees Some Extra Training

Cybersecurity is a big subject, and there are many people who don’t know how it works. Many older people have trouble with this subject, and thus, they fail to take the appropriate precautions. Many others just lack the initiative to learn this knowledge. Either way, it’s not that hard to correct the issue.

Using the same methods that you would use to set up an online meeting, you can set up an online training seminar. This should, of course, be mandatory for all employees, and you might even want to give them a short quiz when it’s over. You might even be able to save money by using an in-house IT expert rather than hiring one from outside the company. Of course, you need to remember that the students can only be as good as the master!

Use Only PGP/GPG For Email

Email is definitely the most dangerous online activity, at least from a security standpoint. Email phishing is probably the easiest and most common way to hack someone, and it seems to have a high rate of success. Even some of the largest companies in the world have fallen victim to these scams. In fact, larger companies may be more vulnerable because of the huge amounts of email that they receive.

It works like this: The hacker sends an email that looks like something legitimate. It might be from your bank, a business partner, a payment processor, your VPN provider, or anyone else with whom you normally do business. These phishing emails will usually direct the user to click on a link, but that link is not what it seems. Once you click it, you have given permission for a malware program to install.

The easiest way to deal with this problem is through the use of PGP/GPG encryption. PGP stands for “pretty good privacy,” which is kind of funny. It’s funny because this has proven to be the most secure encryption known to mankind. GPG is just the Linux equivalent, but you can get a Windows version of GPG as well. This type of encryption has a slight learning curve, but it’s well worth the time.

Establish Clear And Firm Security Policies

Most people are not diligent enough to practice good security. Thus, you will need to create some incentives. All you have to do here is make sure that your security rules are clearly laid out for all to see. Consult with your best IT people and figure out a workable set of rules, then stick to them like glue. In this case, the most important thing is to make sure that everyone understands these rules.

Conclusion

There are other things that you can do to make your business networking more secure, but these steps will be a great step in the right direction. Even if you do nothing else, these steps will make it much harder for anyone to hack or intrude on your private business. If we have helped to make you and yours a little bit safer, then we will have accomplished our goal for today. If that is the case, please show your appreciation by filling out the contact form below.