Take these necessary precautions for data security when practicing remote working
Whether it was the endless possibilities that surround the concept or the fact that a deadly disease has been wiping comfort off of our planet, Remote work has presented itself as a savior. During this time, we have surely discovered a lot about our brand, our teams, and of course the future of work. We have learned a number of things while working remotely during this time:
- We’ve learned that remote employees can be responsible employees,
- We’ve learned that we can obtain a disciplined workflow by assigning clear and simple guidelines
- We’ve also learned that team collaboration while working remotely is easier than we thought, and
- Also, that security threats can follow your team to their homes if not paid enough attention to.
Talking about working securely, we need to understand that this is a rebuilding time, a sort of a redefining time for your teams. If we do not help protect our data from Security breaches, it can lead to serious troubles. After all, when your team is working remotely, the security of your work, your projects, your files will not depend just on your office network, rather it will be out there in the open, vulnerable to the threats lurking around.
So, what can you do now? Well, with effective remote work security strategies, we can bring to life a virtual working environment where our work, and the team effort could be saved and preserved.
“Make remote work easier and secure. ProofHub employs industry standard security measures to protect your data. Start your FREE ride today!”
In this article, we shall discuss the various cracks in our system that give way to security leaks.
How Do Remote Work Security Risks Arise?
When it comes to security, there are very few parameters that need to be taken care of. If you fill in these holes, you are sure to get a safe channel for your work, a place where you can share files and information, and one where you can execute plans with utmost ease in a safe work environment.
I have compiled a list of parameters that need to be given attention to. These are what I call a total secure work management solution:
1. Are Your Network Channels Secure?
At the office, we control everything, from the seating arrangement to the servers that provide us wireless security for our computers. We have control over the devices that people are using.
Also, we are open to making changes to the access settings of certain websites and applications on those devices. You know the ones that can potentially cripple the entire network system on which your workplace works.
If you are wondering what is the worst that could happen, I’ll give you an idea:
- Your collaborative data, Important property, images, media files, unencrypted emails, and even instant messages could be easily tapped into.
- A leak of all your sign-in credentials for various websites, applications, and tools.
- Cybercriminals will have an easy day distributing to your team various malicious software platforms that break your whole system down.
- No having secure and unbreakable connection credentials could mean a serious loss of bandwidth.
But, what happens when all the employees are told to work from home, with their own devices and feeble internet connections? You can almost see the stature of security crumbling down. All your employees would need certain instructions to take care of their Wi-Fi connections.
Instructions such as:
- Using a good, strong, impenetrable password.
- Making it a routine to change it regularly.
- The employees who have been using WEP network, must start using the more secure version, i.e, WPA2.
- Make it a point to reduce the number of devices that are connected to the same network to access an unhindered network.
- Rotating your Wi-Fi credentials will go a long way towards giving you a secure connection.
- Having a router that has been obtained from credible sources and is up to date.
2. Even If One Member Fell For a Scam
What I mean by that is if one member of your remote team, with one system falls for a phishing scam, your whole company would be suffering for it. At our offices, we have servers dedicated to blocking out certain websites and pop ups that try to break down the network and could possibly eat away our data.
This is why remote working guidelines for creating a secure workspace are of the utmost importance. If a malicious virus could get into even one of the registered devices, you could lose the privacy of the whole system. What we are talking about here is the pure evil that comes with phishing scams.
Let me show you what could happen if you didn’t put it into motion a clear work management solution for fighting security threats.
- Since your team works remotely now, you have no control over their usage of the internet, they could be using as many social media platforms as they can. This can be a huge gateway to phishing scams.
- If even one account of one person for one website is hacked, it potentially threatens the leakage of secure connections, channels, and credentials of your whole company.
How to spot out phishing attempts?
- An email with an out-of-this-world engaging call to action. These tell you to take immediate action and would take you to a fake website with malicious content.
- An email with a donation request or a fat prize you won for a thing you never registered for.
- An email telling you to download a very useful, suspicious document that would seem harmless on the outside.
- An email telling you that there is a security threat to your account and would ask you for your old login details.
These phishing attempts are fairly frequent and are something people fall for too easily. Therefore, as leaders we need to spread out as much information as we can to teach our team about the ill-effects of security breaches. Every employee has a big role in protecting the company’s data, and they should be made aware of just that.
“Bring your remote team closer by making announcements and keeping everyone engaged! Get ProofHub for your team today!”
I would suggest taking the following precautions:
- Setting down measures to ensure that your employees empty out their inboxes and dump out the spam emails regularly.
- Ask them to be cautious with links, documents, and suspicious emails that could potentially try to harm your pyramid of security.
- Explain to them the importance of being wary of weird emails, phone calls, and messages that can threaten the privacy of the whole company.
- State to your team that using social media while working on a secure network while handling important information, can create some serious setbacks.
3. Been Using One Too Many Tools?
Ever since we started taking the telecommuting bit seriously, I have created a system for us to be on the same page with the help of our team. We have decided to cut on costs and tried to make sure we are using only the most essential tools that play a big role in the harmonious working of our company.
As I am sure you have too kept some remote work software applications for collaboration or communication. But as earlier established, using these tools with the secure channels of the company’s network services and using them at the employee’s own risk are two different things.
Here is what using an unsolicited, tool that doesn’t have enough encryption can do to your data:
- These kinds of malicious software platforms can start from one device and spread to the others when connected. For example, your computer, your laptop, your phone, tablet, and then servers to your databases.
- It might entirely change the way your device used to work. Apart from completely shutting down, it might play games with you first, such as lock or delete files, leaking information to various individuals outside of the system, etc.
Needless to say, these tools could cause irreparable damage to the whole company with a definite leak of private credentials of the whole workforce. Remote work security policy written down and distributed could be the law of the land the whole time you spend working from home.
Without further adieu, here are all the measures your team can take to prevent this situation:
- Using tools that your team uses.
- Make sure that these are trusted and come with a lot of credible reviews.
- Trust sources that are dependable to download or install these software applications.
- Try to limit the usage of multiple software platforms at once while using connections that are not secure enough.
- Use encrypted tools that come with distinct levels of security.
- Carefully read the agreement form that every tool comes with.
4. No Set Policies For Sharing Information
The substance of your team’s work comes with the hard authentication of files. So many documents, so many files, images, infographics, charts, and sheets to review. As we talked earlier, using too many tools will lead to you losing data faster than you can save it.
Archiving records is a task of the utmost importance especially while you are working on remote terms. It stands to reason to use just one tool for storing files. These days remote work is only possible because of the far-reaching tech age we live in.
Because of automation software platforms, we have all-in-one tools that can help:
- Save files of all formats and sizes.
- Review files by sharing it with a person or a team with easy-to-use proofing tools.
- Make different folders and organize them with ease.
- Set a workflow and follow the steps.
Needless to say, these tools serve transparency and effective communication.
Why do we need policies to store information, files, and documents?
We set these guidelines to avoid getting into a haphazard situation where people are just sharing files, private information, and secure credentials left and right through any communication platform that comes in handy.
And, there is more. Using too many platforms can lead to your team losing files and important records in the process. This is why guidelines come in handy, to tell your team when to use what tool for which purpose.
With an all-purpose tool, you can keep track of your documents in one place, old or new, they are all saved.
“Manage projects better and streamline your work without any worries. Start using ProofHub today!”
What Does Your Team Need To Hear?
It is important to set up remote work guidelines exclusively pertaining to security issues. As a leader, there is a grave need for us to distribute guidelines on the upkeep of their internet connections, how to use their internet, which tools to install and how they can be more careful of threats.
Not only this, but you need to make your team aware and provide them written contingency plans that could help pull your company out of a sticky privacy situation in the time of need. Here I explained to you how issues could arise and how your team can avoid them.
I would like to leave you with these following points as my advice:
- Provide your team with the basic security training so they can say alert and avoid something like a security breach.
- Help them secure their work, files, documents, information, and credentials by giving them access to the company VPN.
- Giving them time and reminding them to rotate their passwords periodically.
- Help them update to newer versions of the tools they are using and dump entirely the ones that they don’t use.
- Make sure to distribute around antivirus security protection.
- Limit the use of only one platform for sharing sensitive information.
- Help them in having a backup for virtually everything by investing in good cloud-based technology.
- Have contingency plans ready to go.
To Sum Up
Any red dots on the security radar are threats that need to be taken care of right away. While some of us are still in the initial stages of the remote work era, it is important for us to implement certain guidelines for containment of work and practicing the best methods to keep cyber troubles away.
I hope these pointers will help you and take your team’s remote work one step further. Best of luck!
Thank you for reading this,before you go
Clap: if you enjoyed reading this article, so others can find it
Comment: if you have a question/suggestion you’d like to ask
Follow: Sandeep Kashyap to read all the articles
- Why Remote Work Is Growing (And How To Be A Part Of It)
- New to Remote Work? 10 Tips and Tools to Fast-Track Your Company to the New Normal
- How to Succeed Leading a Team of Remote Teams
Is Remote Work Really Secure? Let’s Find Out Here was originally published in ProofHub Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.