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Although implementing a work-from-home program can provide a wide range of benefits for your business, allowing staff to work remotely also comes with unique risks and challenges. Specifically, having your employees work from home can increase their vulnerability to cyber attacks, which could result in costly consequences for your organization. With this in mind, it’s vital to ensure your work-from-home program is secure by utilizing top-notch technology and providing employees with adequate cyber security resources.
First, it’s important to assess your workplace technology to ensure it possesses proper cyber security features to combat work-from-home risks. At a glance, your organization’s software should have these key characteristics:
• A virtual private network (VPN)—Having a VPN allows your employees to utilize a private, protected network connection. VPNs provide numerous cyber security features, such as hiding users’ IP addresses, encrypting data transfers and masking users’ locations. If you don’t already have a VPN, you are missing a crucial step in implementing a secure work-from-home program. If you do already possess a VPN, make sure it’s fully patched.
• Restricted access controls—Remote work technology should be equipped with the same account access restrictions as your on-site software. Furthermore, you should only allow competent, qualified and trusted staff to have access to sensitive company data.
• Anti-virus and malware protection—To protect your system from cyber threats, it’s critical that all remote work technology has the latest antivirus, malware and firewall protection software.
After you have prepared your technology, it’s time to provide employees with robust resources and training to ensure a secure work-from-home program. Consider providing staff training on the following topics:
• Taking care of technology—Encourage employees to log out of their devices when they are finished working for the day and store all workplace technology in a secure, protected location.
• Utilizing personal devices—If you allow staff to use personal devices for work purposes, be sure to enforce a Bring Your Own Device policy.
• Conducting regular updates—Make sure employees know how to conduct regular software updates on all workplace technology. If you allow staff to use personal devices for work purposes, ensure they know how to conduct software updates on that technology as well.
• Detecting signs of phishing—Educate your employees on how to detect phishing scams.
• Reporting cyber concerns—Ensure that remote employees know how to report any cyber concerns that they might experience. Staff should report these problems to their supervisors and the IT department, if needed.
For more cyber security strategies you can use to protect your businesses, contact The Huttenlocher Group today.
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