Cybersecurity Habits All Remote Workers Should Incorporate

Working remotely is no longer a perk companies offer to their employees every now and again — it has become the norm. The pandemic has left companies and freelance entrepreneurs alike at home, building makeshift workspaces in their living spaces in an attempt to help flatten the curve. The transition has led many businesses to change their mindset about telecommuting and finally see the benefits of working remotely. In fact, lots of businesses have begun committing to a fully remote, or mostly remote workforce, despite many of the social distancing and quarantine policies easing. Unfortunately, not all workers are knowledgeable when it comes to cybersecurity, and this could mean trouble for your business. This makes it all the more important that you educate your team about the basics of cybersecurity and help them build good cybersecurity habits.

Train employees on data privacy regulation and cybersecurity

You can begin your efforts by raising awareness about cybersecurity throughout your whole organisation. As mentioned in a previous Elevate post on cybersecurity awareness, you can instil best cybersecurity practices by making training more engaging and memorable. The concepts will stick with them better if you made use of video as the combination of visuals, text, and sounds can aid comprehension. Make sure to incorporate good storytelling so your staff can emotionally engage with the training material and increase information retention.

Use only secure, private networks

If your team chooses to work in places like cafes and libraries and connect to public Wi-Fi, there is a higher chance of them giving unauthorised access to your company’s data, even if they didn’t mean to in the first place. If possible, discourage them from working with sensitive information in public spaces. Ask them to turn Bluetooth off as well. If they must connect to the internet, it would better if they used a personal portable hotspot. If they already have all the data they need to get their work done, it could also be worth turning on Airplane Mode on their device. By doing this, it disables all wireless signal transmission from their device – be it cellular, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth. Switching on Airplane Mode can even help with productivity, as a post on business productivity tips by Verizon Connect details that it helps minimise distractions by eliminating notifications, helping them focus on the task at hand.

Distribute access to VPN

Even if you can get your staff to take basic precautions in protecting their home Wi-Fi, it’s still worth having them use VPN services to mask their activity and secure encrypted tunnels between the home user and a remote server. There’s no overstating how important it is to protect sensitive company data from malicious hackers, and one of the best ways to prevent them from getting their hands on private information is using a VPN that has strong privacy policies to prevent the sharing of your data. Ideally, the VPN service you choose would be compatible with a slew of devices as well, so employees can install them on their phones.

Enforce multifactor authentication

Passwords, no matter how “strong” they may be, can still be cracked. Business News Daily highlights how humans have been codebreaking for as long as we’ve been making codes, so you shouldn’t assume that your password is enough to protect your info. Sure, practising good password etiquette is important, but you can double down on your efforts by enabling two-factor authentication to add a layer of protection, considering that it necessitates additional action beyond keying in a password. It may also be worth looking into security solutions that are capable of reviewing identities and controlling access management rules to ensure that only required access is given to each employee.

Written by: Tara Johnson