Use a VPN
The first thing to check is that employees working remotely are using computers that connect to a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. This should be the default on office-supplied laptops, but it is worth checking if employees have a valid subscription. If employees are using home computers, they should be encouraged to install a well-established and highly reputable VPN network.
This is a secure way of transporting private data across unknown networks, even via a home router. Instead of worrying about the security of individual apps on a device, a VPN connection can protect against multiple attacks. A secure VPN connection can stop your passwords and IP address from being exposed.
Take care around public WiFi
If your staff have to use public WiFi, they must be reminded not to use it without a VPN. Better still, they should try to use a hotspot phone connection instead, which can be faster and more secure. Taking simple steps, such as avoiding public WiFi wherever possible, can go a long way in mitigating risks – so employers should ensure that they are actively reminding employees to choose only secure networks.
Keep software up to date
If employees are using personal computers, it is essential to use the latest operating system and make sure it is up-to-date. Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 recently, so you must remember to switch to other operating models that have full supplier support.
All PC peripherals used, such as USBs, must have an antivirus installed to contain any form of malware that could be transmitted into the network. Also, it’s always a good idea to scan any machine for malware before it is used for work purposes.
Take extra precautions
Using additional layers of security will help businesses to steer clear of most sophisticated threat vectors. Encrypting private data and implementing multi-factor authentication are useful measures to enhance home and workplace security.
USB drives can contain large amounts of sensitive data, but are also easily lost and can be an easy way for malware to find its way onto PCs.
Ask employees to transfer files using alternatives to USB such as cloud storage or collaboration tools.
Remain vigilant with company data
Employers must ensure that workers are always aware of where vital data is stored and encourage them to reach out to IT support departments if anything seems out of the ordinary, especially when it involves financial transactions. Everyone in the company, regardless of seniority, needs to be extra vigilant when working remotely.
Focus on training
Create guides and instruction documents for new software that employees will be using at home. Your guides should highlight the dangers of cyber threats and outline security measures for employees to adhere to when working outside the office.