Cybersecurity experts treat remote employees as a threat, and they may be right at their place. However remote working doesn’t seem to be a temporary trend – it is here to stay longer and change the way how you work. According to U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, between 2017 and 2018, 25% of U.S. workforce worked remotely sometime.
Due to sudden spread of COVID-19 pandemic globally, many companies have allowed their employees to work from home. This event is acting as a catalyst in shifting the traditional workforce to remote workforce. Hence, remote working may become a norm sooner.
Despite catering many advantages, there are several issues surrounding remote work. More than 75% of the employees don’t care about data privacy while working in a public network. This makes your business an easy target for hackers. Not knowing how your workers are accessing and using your files and data also make your business vulnerable. In fact, IBM showed in 2016 that 60% of all the cybersecurity attacks were done by insiders.
This blogpost is not about counting pros and cons of working remotely but this is about how you can secure your data and monitor your employees who are working remotely. We have prepared a list of 5 best practices to keep your business safe from the threats posed by remote employees.
Create a clear Remote Access Policy
First thing first; an ideal RAP must include:
• Measures of protecting credentials
• Conditions for providing remote access
• Instructions on how to connect to network from a remote place
• List of software and access control measures
Leave this policy open to all the employees so that all the employees can read it anytime hey want and post questions regarding the same. You can also enlist some FAQs to help the employees further.
Connect to a VPN Network
Public networks are much vulnerable to cyberattacks. Virtual Private Network, on the other hand, creates a secured point-to-point connection between the employee’s device and office network using encryption algorithm and authentication. So, VPN is a very effective tool that secures your data and send the files using a point-to-point transmission.
Adding more layers of security is advised by many specialists. Checking several factors before letting anyone log-in to the panels or accessing any file authenticate the person positively. You can also do the same for your networks. Enforcing one-time passwords and CAPTCHA are some of the techniques.
Monitor and record employee activity
Continuous monitoring employees’ actions taken with your sensitive data and recording them into a log file is essential while working with a remote team. You can monitor the following details:
• Audio input output
• Opened and edited files and folders
• On-screen activity.
Recording the data may turn out to be helpful in case of any investigation.
Get alerts on suspicious actions
It is always better to protect the data from breach than to deal with its consequences. Getting alerts on all the possible security breach is helpful to take timely actions.
You can also block a user or an activity that seems to be violating the security.
While setting up a virtual company and working in a virtual environment, security breach is a common challenge. But you can uproot these problems and work peacefully. Being able to identify risky nodes, manage user access, and monitor the activity can make your data even more secure.
You should also educate your employees and team-leads about possible cyberattacks and how to prevent them. Because, as the folks say, precaution is better than cure!
Kamal Rastogi is a serial IT entrepreneur with 25 yrs plus experience. Currently his focus area is Data Science business, ERP Consulting, IT Staffing and Experttal.com (Fastest growing US based platform to hire verified / Risk Compliant Expert IT resources from talent rich countries like India, Romania, Philippines etc...directly). His firms service clients like KPMG, Deloitte, EnY, Samsung, Wipro, NCR Corporation etc in India and USA.