In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses worldwide embraced remote work as the new norm. While this shift provided flexibility and continuity during challenging times, it also brought forth significant cybersecurity challenges. As remote work continues to be a prevalent model, it’s crucial for businesses to prioritize cybersecurity to safeguard their operations and employees. Here are three key steps to enable remote work securely:
- Avoid Public WiFi: Public WiFi networks are notorious for their vulnerability to cyberattacks. Employees working remotely may be tempted to use unsecured public WiFi for convenience, but doing so exposes their devices to potential intruders. To mitigate this risk, implement a Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution. VPNs create secure encrypted tunnels, allowing remote workers to access the internet safely, even when using public WiFi. Alternatively, consider providing personal hotspots for employees, ensuring they have a private and secure connection wherever they work.
- Strong Device Policy: While bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies may seem cost-effective, they can lead to substantial security risks. Instead, create a clear device policy that either approves specific devices with adequate security measures or, ideally, provides work devices to employees. Standardizing devices with pre-installed security solutions, including malware protection and VPNs, ensures consistency and enhances overall security. By implementing a strong device policy, businesses can minimize the risk of potential data breaches and cyber incidents.
- Physical Security Matters: Amid the focus on digital security, physical security should not be overlooked. Remote employees may work in various locations, increasing the likelihood of device theft or loss. Encourage employees to keep their work devices nearby and not leave them unattended in public places or vehicles. Remind them to keep doors locked and devices out of sight to deter opportunistic theft. Combining strong physical security practices with digital safeguards bolsters overall cybersecurity efforts.
As remote work becomes a permanent fixture for many businesses, continuous improvement is essential. Collaborate with an experienced Managed Services Provider (MSP) to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy tailored to your remote work environment. By taking proactive steps to secure your business and remote teams, you can embrace the benefits of remote work without compromising on security. The ever-evolving work landscape requires adaptive security measures, and investing in cybersecurity will lead to a safer and more productive remote work environment for all.