As the hybrid workforce has increased, so has the number of cybersecurity breaches. Fortunately, many of the security vulnerabilities that come with remote work can be minimized with clear-cut policies, training, and IT support for your remote workers. Here is a helpful checklist of best practices you can implement to better safeguard your organization.
1. No Public Wi-Fi
40% of the remote workforce spends time in public or shared spaces where privacy isn’t guaranteed. If your employees still want to work from Starbucks, instruct them to set up a personal hotspot on their mobile device to bypass the public Wi-Fi or have them use a virtual private network (VPN).
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings and Communicate Responsibly
According to a Code 42 study, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds in airports alone. Instruct your remote workers not to be careless with their work laptops. They should remain alert if they work in a public space. They should ensure no one can sit behind them and watch/record everything they do. Employees should take their devices to the restroom and avoid leaving them in their cars. On video calls, use headphones and employ safe screen-sharing practices.
3. Encrypt Stored Data and Update Devices & Apps
Make sure your remote workers are using devices set to encrypt stored data. Encryption encodes data to make it unreadable to anyone without the matching encryption key, password, or PIN. Keep devices, firewalls, and apps up to date. Developers are constantly working to close security gaps, so it’s essential to set the software to update automatically when patches are released.
4. Enable Email Encryption
Emails are another point of vulnerability for remote workers. Just as you want to ensure that all stored data is encrypted, it’s also a good idea to encrypt the data attached to any email. This will prevent an unintended recipient from viewing the information.
5. Disable all External Drives and Store Work in the Cloud
Consider disabling all external drives on work devices. USB thumb drives are popular vehicles for bad actors to use for malware attacks. Bad guys can install malware onto thumb drives and then distribute them where an unsuspecting worker would pick one up, and thinking it was theirs, plug it into their device. Use secure, cloud-based storage instead.
6. Update Password Policies and Enable Security Features
Instruct employees to choose strong, unique passwords and to have different passwords for different apps. Users can store passwords in an encrypted password manager or use a password generator to make them up. Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds another layer of security using a second or third identification element, like a key card, fingerprint, or text code, to verify identities. Turn on location-finding and remote wiping to manage devices if they get lost.
When you keep your communications platform up to date with the latest software and features, it will be protected with fixes that address security flaws and close security holes that could be exploited.
UC or voice platforms/services also require proactive updates to help ensure your business can head off cyberattacks on your communications systems.
TCI can help ensure your systems are continuously updated and secure. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.