With employees working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, keeping confidential company information secure is more critical than ever. Staff may decide to forward documents to their personal email accounts to print them from a home office printer. Or, they could use a personal or family member’s computer to work due to technical difficulties with their company laptop. Because actions like these put sensitive company information at risk, they are causes for significant concern. This is why you need to enforce cybersecurity as a top priority for your staff.
Consider these tips for maintaining cybersecurity with employees working remotely.
Share Your Cybersecurity Policy
Educate staff on why adherence to your cybersecurity policy is a priority. Point out the reasons why data security at every level of the organization matters. Even if employees aren’t directly working with customer information, they’re still responsible for protecting company data. Discuss details about all security protocols staff must comply with. Include the tools and resources the business uses to support them. Have all employees review and sign your cybersecurity policy to show they understand and follow it.
Require Secure Internet Connections
Ensure employees have access to a secure internet connection. Using an unsecured Wi-Fi network is the most common way to expose a company to a data security breach. If staff are allowed to work at a remote location other than home, such as a coffee shop, make sure they use a virtual private network (VPN) to connect to the internet. This encrypts the data being transmitted and monitors for signs of hacking.
Use Strong Passwords
Instruct staff on the importance of creating strong passwords. Remind them to use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to create different passwords for each device and program. If an outside party figures out a password and gains unauthorized access to company information, having different passwords for different information can reduce the amount of data being accessed and better contain the problem. Or, encourage the use of a password manager to generate and safely store strong passwords randomly.
Include Two-Factor Authentication
Make two-factor authentication part of your data security plan. This confirms a user’s identity by requesting a username and password as well as another piece of information. Whether the user needs to answer a secret question or enter a PIN sent to their cellphone, this provides an added layer of security for sensitive information.
Implement Encryption Software
Ensure that encryption software is used on all employee devices. Include end-to-end encryption for programs that involve chatting, email, and similar applications. Information shared with coworkers is kept confidential. If a device is lost or stolen, the software bars unauthorized access to the information.
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