Amid a global pandemic, studies have found that nearly 42 percent of the United States workforce has shifted to remote work. This unprecedented reliance on technology, while effective in maintaining an operational business, presents a challenge for remote work security. While those in the IT field have grown accustomed to working remotely over the years, the practice remains foreign to most employees.
Because of the sheer volume of unpracticed employees who are working remotely, cybercriminals are fully embracing the situation. This makes the risk of cyberattacks that lead to data breaches and theft greater than ever. With 53 percent of these cyber-attacks resulting in damages that exceed $500,000, remote work security must be a priority to protect the business and individual employees.
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here are five tips uncovered to increase security for your remote workforce:
1. Use TeamPassword
Unfortunately, collaborative efforts in the virtual realm mean passwords are shared frequently. Whether through email, Zoom meetings or digital documents, the risk of passwords being intercepted by unauthorized individuals is extremely high. Using a password manager can prevent this from occurring as it allows shared passwords to be encrypted or created with a password generator.
TeamPassword is a highly regarded password manager designed specifically with teams in mind. It offers a plethora of security-enhancing features like a unique password generator, encryption, activity logs and two-step verification.
2. Educate Employees
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to improve remote work security is to educate employees of the potential dangers lurking behind their screens. While they may be familiar with using some same applications and software systems, others may be foreign which can make them more susceptible to threats. Be sure to educate employees on safe practices with each of the tools that are being used.
Additionally, cybercriminals are using the nationwide increase in remote work environments to their advantage by ramping up e-mail phishing scams. In some cases, they may send malware as an attachment or a link that appears to come from a co-worker or an authoritative resource regarding the pandemic itself. While spam filters and anti-virus protection software can help weed out some of these threats, it is much more effective to make others aware of these attacks.
3. Don’t Delay Updates
As those in the IT field know all too well, software updates are frequent yet necessary. This is because updates often address security flaws and provide additional upgrades to safeguard data. Updates should be installed as soon as they are released to offer the most protection.
To ensure this is done on all devices, companywide e-mails can be sent instructing employees to install updates after they are released. For those that are unfamiliar with such actions, it may be helpful to e-mail a simple, step-by-step tutorial to ensure that all employees are protected. This same method can also be used when introducing new remote work security features like TeamPassword to ensure all employees understand how to use them.
4. Use Separate Devices
Another important step that remote workforces can take to ensure the security of all employees is to insist that personal and work devices are kept separate. Employer-provided laptops should be distributed along with strict rules that prohibit the use of devices for personal activities like online shopping, bill payments or video streaming. Additionally, friends and family members must not use the devices.
Despite these efforts, many employees find the use of personal devices necessary to complete their work daily. In these cases, they should make use of a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure that data is encrypted. Likewise, all business messages and documents should be handled using corporate software that focuses on remote work security instead of personal accounts which are often laxer with security and encryption.
5. Activate Multi-Factor Authentication
To prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing sensitive data, multi-factor authentication is highly effective. With this method, users are required to provide more than one form of authentication. This may mean that they utilize biometrics, voice recognition or a code on their smartphone.
Although many dread the thought of taking an extra step to access their business accounts, it is one of the most effective measures that a remote workforce can take to secure remote work for all parties. Another option for implementing multi-factor authentication is the 2-step verification process offered with TeamPassword.
If your business is searching for a way to enhance security for remote work, explore all of the benefits that TeamPassword has to offer. Get started now with a 14-day free trial before making a commitment.