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Working Remotely: How to Keep Your Network Secure

Working Remotely

When it comes to modern-day workplaces, there is an undeniable paradigm shift taking place in the corporate landscape. Thanks to advances in networking and mobile technologies, more and more business owners are utilizing remote workforces. Whether from home, client locales, or even hotels thousands of kilometres away, telecommuting allows employees the convenience and ease of working outside the confines of an office.

Unfortunately, working remotely comes with its own set of risks. Cybercriminals have created sophisticated techniques to use the increase of remote working to infiltrate company networks and gain access to your data. Read on to learn how to keep your network safe when employees access it remotely.

Security Challenges for Remote Workers

Personal device use – An increase in personal devices for work tasks equals an increase in problems. Workers may not have the access to company-assigned equipment—meaning they need to use personal devices. Without the proper tools that are built into many business networks, your employees are at greater risk of compromising work-related data.

Unsafe Wi-Fi networks – Whether it’s a coffee shop, hotel, or airport, many employees use public Wi-Fi to work. Regrettably, many public internet locations require no authentication to log in to the network. This makes it easy for cybercriminals to intercept the connection and harvest your precious company data.

Greater vulnerability – No matter how proficient your employees are at performing work tasks, they may lack the knowhow and skills to keep their equipment up to date. Obsolete plugins and unprotected OSes can leave remote workers—and your business information—vulnerable to malicious campaigns.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent cybercrime while working remotely.

Best Practices When Working Remotely

Use a VPN –The most effective way to protect against a data breach is for your employees to use a virtual private network (VPN) while working remotely. A VPN creates encrypted tunnels between a remote workers’ internet traffic and a server connected to the internet. By using a VPN, you can feel more secure knowing that your network is safe when employees are working offsite.

Employ encryption software – Another way business owners and remote workers can protect data is to use encryption software. If an employee’s mobile device or laptop is lost or stolen, unauthorized users can gain access to sensitive data and penetrate your network. Encryption software is a safe solution to keep your company data from falling into the wrong hands.

Set up two-factor authentication – When it comes to quick and easy remote data security, many businesses are turning to two-factor authentication. Workers will not only have to use a password to access an account, but also require a second piece of information like a PIN, a swipe unlock pattern, a fingerprint, or voice recognition. That extra step of 2FA can help deter cybercriminals from entering your company network.

Use cloud applications – Web-based applications can allow employees to work on business tasks anywhere, while letting cloud-service providers take care of securing data. Cloud services like Google’s G Suite for Business allow remote users to collaborate, open and edit common file formats, and store and share files safely.

Back up your data – Whether it is a single business email or the applications responsible for running your entire organization, properly managing your data is critical to a company’s behind-the-scenes success. One of the best ways to ensure this is with a data backup and recovery strategy. Regularly backing up your information will keep your business running smoothly and prevent downtime and production loss.

The remote working trend is not going anywhere any time soon. So, it is vital that employees aren’t letting precious company data slip through their fingers.

Working with a professional IT service provider like Safe Harbour will help keep your remote workers and your business safe. Setting up firewalls, securing your routers, migrating to the cloud, and implementing a reliable data backup and recovery solution, a managed IT professional will ensure your network is up and running, 24/7.

For complete protection when working remotely, reach out to Safe Harbour.