Are Remote Workers Leaving a Hole in Your Company’s Cybersecurity?

So many companies today are worried about how remote employee policies are affecting the security of their online networks. Businesses, no matter the size, are all concerned with the data they possess and how secure it is at all times. However, sometimes the policies are not always followed in the best manner. Not to mention, company leaders are often more stressed about the security of remote employee devices because they fear employees are connecting to public or unsecure Wi-Fi since these people are not able to be present in the office. However, remote workers and employers should know there are ways to ensure that remote devices don’t leave a hole in secure company networks.

Preventing Cyber Insecurity

According to an iPass survey, most company leadership believe that remote workers and the personal devices they use could create security risks. The survey reported that 53 percent of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in the U.S. thought that mobile workers had been hacked in the last year. On top of that, 94 percent believe that the rise of their company’s BYOD initiatives were the cause of increased security risks. 81 percent of CIOs reported a Wi-Fi related incident in the last year.

Companies, especially digitally based businesses, have allowed for remote work to increase, since recruiting teams are now able to hire the best candidate for the job without location acting as a restriction for hiring. However, this can create a sense of insecurity for company leaders since they are unable to easily monitor the cybersecurity of remote employees.

But, there are ways in which your leadership team can have peace of mind with these tactics for protecting remote employees from cyberattacks.

Create Clear Policies for Remote Employees

While remote employees might have some insight on how to stay safe online, they might prioritize certain safety procedures over others. This can cause inconsistencies across the board and have the potential to leave a hole in your secure network. To prevent this, create clear remote working policies so everyone is on the same page when it comes to company safety protocol.

Creating company-wide policies can be something as broad as prohibiting unknown plugins – like USBs or personal hard drives – into a company device, to something more specific, like banning visits to certain websites. Making sure that your employees have a transparent guideline to follow can clear up confusion about what employers might expect from their remote staff.

Provide the Proper Tools

Providing employees with the knowledge of what “secure” means for your company is the first step, but the second step is to provide them with the tools they need to secure their networks. Enforcing two-factor authentication to access control systems is a helpful security tool, but your company then needs to provide this to all employees. If you plan to use network monitoring software, the company would need to purchase this software. Make use of the tools that are accessible to all employees. In setting up these programs, there will be less of a chance that your company programs will get invaded by cybercriminals.

Since today’s threats include much more than the average virus, companies need to make sure they are prepared for everything that could possibly come their way. Depending on the needs of each business, there are several options for cybersecurity. Antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and anti-ransomware are just a few softwares that many businesses utilize. However, remote employees could benefit from virtual private networks more than – some could argue – the in-office employee.

While virtual private networks are great company wide, this is a tool that is engineered for remote employee use. Even though many people might not know what a VPN is, it is a staple piece software for anyone who works in the digital world and has the potential to connect to a public network. A VPN helps give a device privacy by creating its own private network for said device, which is why every remote or traveling employee should have one installed on their electronics. For employers looking for their network to be on complete lockdown, this is one of the safest routes for those with remote employees. That way they know each individual device has its own protection.

Strive for Better Security in the Future

Cybercriminals aren’t giving up any time soon, but the good news is that many data breaches from the past could have been prevented. This means that many breaches in the future have the potential to be prevented with the proper steps. By placing proper guidelines upfront and providing the tools to stay secure, companies can create a safer digital experience for their businesses. These regulations should be reviewed often and made adaptable to changes so you can always be one step ahead of cyber threats in the future.

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