Ransomware is not an urban legend devised to boost anti-virus software sales. The threat of a cyberattack to your business is a real one.
You should know the risks.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the working world has been restated a thousand times. Everyone knows about the shift to remote work in 2020. After all, no one escaped the abrupt change to — you know — everyone’s entire lives.
Since working remotely has become a norm, IT security is an even more important topic. Here’s why:
Failing to implement a comprehensive security plan could mean disaster for your business. Since so many employees don’t work on-site anymore, they often have to rely on their own WiFi network or use their own private devices to access company data.
As you know, data leaks are bad news. Cyberattacks can bring business to a standstill, cost you a lot of money, and lead to the misuse of your clients’ personal, confidential information.
Unfortunately, remote connections increase the risk of cyberattacks targeting endpoint vulnerabilities. The safer, more cost-effective option is to go in prepared. Prevention is the best measure here. Defend yourself and your clients.
Below you’ll find six ways you can beef up your remote IT security plan.
Try to improve password management. For example, you can set a single sign-on (SSO) policy for each app or business service your remote workers use.
You can also pair multifactor authentication with SSO. This will further optimize the cybersecurity of your business.
Not to be overlooked is basic password good practice. Employees should not be using the same password for every account, and passwords definitely should not be standardized.
This is especially true if employees don’t have separate cellphones and laptops for work use.
2. Virtual Private Networks
You don't want access to the company’s network to come through an unsecured WiFi connection. This type of vulnerability is like an open invitation to hackers.
Security risks are introduced by the variable circumstances of remote workers. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a good start to counter these threats. A VPN extends your security features over the public domain, thereby providing secure network access.
VPNs are not the be-all-end-all of network security, they are a fundamental feature.
3. Teleworker Security
Most corporate operations already rely on multiple network security measures. An ever-increasing remote workforce means it’s even more necessary to manage endpoint devices. So, it's a good idea to factor in WFH situations when setting up corporate security solutions.
Teleworker gateways can create a uniform security policy. They also help to distinguish between business and home networks. Another advantage is that remote workers don’t have to worry about enabling a VPN every time they sign on.
4. Zero-Trust Network Access
VPNs are a great and widely used security feature for most networks. However, they still expose your private network to the public internet. But, ZTNA (zero-trust network access) can establish greater network privacy.
A VPN lets remote personnel connect to the company’s network. On the other hand, ZTNA separates users from the network. Through a third-party provider, the user can only access the applications that are appropriate to his or her role.
Thus, ZTNA manages application security. Even if you can log in to the database, you can only use what’s appropriate to your access level. This decreases the opportunity for malware or cyberattack infiltration.
In short, with ZTNA the chance of exposing the network through a compromised account is much less.
Since remote workers rely on software to do their jobs, any downtime has a greater impact. Setting up backups for essential systems on a secure data platform creates a much more stable infrastructure.
Backups give you peace of mind. You know that essential data will still be available. And that your business will still be able to run, even under the threat of malware or ransomware.
This is not new information. But, it’s no less important especially as far as IT security for remote workers goes. Implementing an effective backup policy can provide business continuity should the unthinkable happen.
6. IT Security Training
No matter how thorough it is, your security policy won’t work if your employees don't understand their role in maintaining it.
Establishing security systems for your infrastructure should include training your employees. It really helps when remote workers know about cybersecurity mistakes before they have the opportunity to make them.
There are a host of aspects to cover in employee IT security training. Here are a few examples of what remote workers need to know about:
- Password handling
- Securing corporate data
- Safe use of collaboration apps
- Storing confidential information
- Identification verification
Remote workers often have to use your company’s systems from personal computers. Sometimes they work off unsecured connections. For example, they might choose to work from a coffee shop or another location.
This requires extra precautions to protect their own systems. It also means they need to defend themselves against exploitation by cyber threats.
Equipping your employees reduces the risk that one person's mistake will bring your entire company to a standstill.
Every business needs IT support. Your security plan is just one of the ways a good IT support company can help you.
These days, as you know, most business operations happen online. Thus, support is mostly needed for software and security-related issues. Now more than ever, outsourcing your remote IT requirements makes so much sense!
Remote IT support can do wonders when it comes to maintaining your IT security policies, as well as keeping your off-site operation running smoothly.
Sometimes, even the most simple IT issue can bring work to a halt. Remote IT support not only reduces downtime but prevents unexpected interruptions.
Don’t Be a Victim
During the initial months of the pandemic in 2020, when working remotely increased, so did phishing and cybercrime. Now that everyone is comfortable with working remotely, it’s necessary to re-look at your IT security.
Remote workers are soft targets.
The importance of IT security for those working remotely cannot be emphasized enough. Take control and protect your business.
If you need some help with your security plan, Scale Technology is here for you. Book an IT consultation here, or call 501-213-3298.