With a staff of remote workers, it can be difficult to manage risk. It’s a core responsibility of IT professionals to educate employees on best cybersecurity practices for remote work and work from home (WFH). It’s the first step in ensuring that company data stays safe.
A study from 200 IT and cybersecurity decision-makers from small businesses to large enterprises found that 20% of companies experienced a security incident due to a remote worker. With such a significant portion of cybersecurity breaches due to remote workers, it’s more important than ever to take steps to mitigate the new ways we work in the 21st century.
From an individual-level upwards, these are the best ways to improve the cybersecurity standards of your workforce. Follow us through how to bulletproof your remote team.
Start with a security assessment
For IT professionals to know what’s working and what’s not, they need a full view of the company's existing security. Most small to mid-sized businesses haven’t had the time to take a detailed and critical look at their current cybersecurity safeguards, in most recent years, much less an audit of remote workforce.
By starting with a security assessment, businesses can determine where their unique weaknesses are to make sure they’re focusing on the right safeguards for each of their team members. A thorough assessment of the antivirus and firewalls you have in place, and the effectiveness of those systems on a remote network is a crucial step.
The best IT security assessments are in-depth — but they’re not audits. They’re an opportunity to evaluate every aspect of your organization’s information security. Mytech offers these assessments, and is helping businesses enhance their remote cybersecurity every day.
Make sure your team is trained on common phishing techniques
Phishing attacks are not new — but they’re still one of the most common ways to infiltrate your company’s information. Most employees are familiar with two or three most common cybersecurity risks from phishing. Making sure that your office is confident they can spot a scam means knowing the basic elements of a typical phishing message:
- Real links embedded in emails that don’t go where they say.
- Malicious and benign code on a fake landing page used to steal employee login credentials
- Shortened links to hide dangerous URLs
- Off or odd-looking logos on false landing pages
- Minimal content in messages from suspicious addresses. Possibly even sending an image instead of text
Educating your team in a productive, time-efficient, and memorable way against the most common phishing techniques can be a challenge, but with the right support and plan, IT professionals will have no trouble making the information stick.
Don’t forego cybersecurity basics
In a new workspace, the same habits we had as employees might not hold. Employees may not feel the need to password-protect their information as securely when working remotely. Some may not know to lock or log off their work computers after hours like they would in the office.
Basics like this are second-nature to many IT pros, but making sure your remote workforce knows is a huge determiner of your company’s cybersecurity health. Protecting your sensitive data can be as simple as refreshing your team and company on these simple steps:
- Using Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) or Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
- Using unique passwords
- Keeping up with software updates
Practice safe video conferencing
Video conferencing over Zoom, Google, or Microsoft Teams is now a necessity whether IT folks like it or not — so training your WFH people on the most essential IT security tips for working remotely in virtual meetings is crucial.
Cybersecurity basics for Zoom and Teams start with enabling and using password-protected meetings, encrypted WPA-2 or WPA-3 WiFi, and keeping an eye on waiting rooms. Knowing who is trying to connect, who is on a remote employee’s wifi, and knowing they’ve got a secure password can make a real difference.
Once the meeting has started, IT pros always advise that employees stay wary of chat features. Make sure any attendees know who sent a link, and are certain where it goes before clicking them.
Document your security practices
All of these tips are easy to implement—the most important thing is that they’re remembered. Taking the time to document your cybersecurity standards for remote workers can feel like a chore, but it can save the IT team valuable time in the future.
Following this simple framework, IT professionals can make a cogent and understandable set of practices that they can continuously improve upon:
Rank: Start by prioritizing the best practices for remote work mentioned above and in a cybersecurity assessment. Be clear as to why these new policies are important.
Relay: Sending out a folder to every employee isn’t feasible or cost-effective. Using your company’s cloud-based computing, disseminate a digital copy of the policies where everyone can see them.
Review: IT pros know that the landscape is always changing. Using a scientific approach for review to test out your policies is key to improving them, and continuously strengthening your defense.
Phishing schemes work when they’re able to catch you distracted or unsure of best practices. If a remote workforce’s cybersecurity practices don’t match the in-office process, it can be a liability for everyone.
If you’re unsure whether or not your businesses’ cybersecurity approach is the best option for your workforce, we should talk. Mytech can help you make sure your workers, your data and your bottom line stay safe.