Top 6 Cybersecurity Best Practices for Every Remote Employee

Top 6 Cybersecurity Practices for Every Remote Employee

Remote employees have gone from the exception to the rule for businesses in Sydney and around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the issue during the global lockdowns, and many companies are finding work-from-home (WFH) works for them and their employees.

Benefits that have been seen when using remote workforces include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Higher morale
  • Less sick/personal days taken
  • Lower office operational costs
  • Improved business continuity

But one drawback of WFH if a company hasn’t updated their cybersecurity strategy to include remote workers, could be a bigger risk of a data breach or other security incident.

36% of surveyed organizations have experienced an IT security incident due to a remote working employee.

The good news is that with the proper cybersecurity practices in place for each remote employee, you can ensure your data is secure and that everyone in your organisation is working securely and productively.

Best Security Practices for Your Employees Working From Home

1. Password Security

The recent 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that login passwords have become a main target of hackers, becoming the #1 information type sought out in a phishing attack.

Users need to take a multi-pronged approach when it comes to password security of devices, email accounts, and cloud accounts. They should use:

  • Password best practices (long, unique passwords that include one symbol and number)
  • Password manager (to reduce the risk of reused passwords)
  • Multi-Factor authentication (it’s highly effective at preventing account hacks)

2. Network Security

When you have employees connecting through home routers, this can leave a big vulnerability in your security strategy. Home routers are notorious for being hacked and have less security than business-grade routers.

To solve this network security problem, it’s important to use a business VPN and have employees use it anytime they connect to the internet to access business apps, websites, or data.

A VPN (virtual private network) will encrypt all internet connections, ensuring that data stays safe no matter how secure (or unsecure) their Wi-Fi connection may be.

3. Email & Phishing Security

During the height of the pandemic, phishing attacks increased 667%, as hackers took advantage of a number of converging factors, which included the confusion due to the crisis and newly remote employees possibly being cut-off from their normal routes of PC support.

Email and phishing security go hand-in-hand and they include both software-based protections and user awareness. This includes tactics such as:

  • Using email authentication to prevent email spoofing
  • Installing web protection to block malicious sites
  • Using anti-spam/anti-phishing software on devices
  • Training users to spot phishing emails
  • Conducting ongoing simulated phishing drills to keep users sharp

4. Device Security

Securing the devices that employees use to work from home is just as important as securing the devices they use at the office. This means understanding what types of protections are on their devices (antivirus, etc.) and ensuring they get regular software updates.

Using a device management application like Microsoft Intune can help you keep track of all devices that remote employees are using to access your business data. It also allows you to force security policies, like app updates and multi-factor authentication.

Intune gives you important visibility into all devices that are used to access your business apps and data.

One more important remote device protection is having remote IT support. This can ensure users get the help they need quickly and keep devices properly maintained and secured.

5. Data Backup

It’s hard enough to keep track of data when it’s being created and saved by computers located at your office. Adding remote workers to the mix just makes the process more complicated.

You can simplify the collection of all your data for security by using a cloud backup and recovery service. The benefit of using cloud backup is that it’s easy to connect and backup any device no matter where it’s located.

The backup is also off-site, so if something happens to your physical office, you don’t have to worry about your backup being destroyed along with other devices.

6. Remote Worker Security Policies

If you’ve gone from an all on-site workforce to a mix of on-site and remote, you may not have a security policy in place for remote workers. You can’t expect employees to know what to do if you don’t tell them in writing.

Put together a remote worker policy that includes details on what’s expected for device security, access to cloud apps, and give instructions on things like shadow IT (app use without clearance first).

By documenting your remote worker security policy, you have a much better chance of reducing security risk for work-from-home employees.

Let GKM2 Help You Put a Solid Remote Workforce Security Plan in Place

Protect your devices and ensure a secure remote workforce by getting help putting a smart strategy in place.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.