According to the Allianz Risk Barometer, cybersecurity concerns are the top concerns for companies globally this year. While this has been a major concern for a while, implementing cybersecurity solutions can be especially challenging for companies with remote teams.
After all, it’s hard enough to keep track of everyone’s login information and passwords when everyone is in the same office. When employees are working from home, it’s even more difficult to prevent data breaches and other security risks.
While working remotely has its advantages, it also comes with some unique challenges, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to protect your data.
Let’s walk you through some of the best cybersecurity solutions to help protect your remote team and business operations.
Understand Current Cybersecurity Risks for Businesses
As the world becomes increasingly digital, businesses are at greater risk of cyberattacks. How do you protect your business?
When it comes to remote work security, the first and best step is to understand what the risks are to your business. These attacks can come in many forms, from malware and viruses to phishing scams and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.
Let’s break some of those risks down for you so you know what to be on the lookout for.
One of the biggest dangers businesses face is ransomware. This is where malicious software encrypts a company’s data and demands a ransom be paid to decrypt it. This can be hugely damaging for businesses, as it can lead to loss of productivity, revenue and sensitive data.
Another common risk is data breaches. This is where hackers gain access to a company’s systems and steal sensitive information, such as customer details or financial records.
A data breach can be extremely costly for a business, both in terms of the damage to their reputation and the financial penalties they may face if customer data is compromised. A data breach at LinkedIn in 2021 affected 90% of its user base, for example.
Ultimately, any type of cybersecurity attack can lead to costly, dangerous, and legal implications. To reduce the risk of cyberattacks, you should ensure that your company has robust cybersecurity measures in place.
Educate Remote Employees About Cybersecurity Risks
Now that you, as the business owner, understand what cybersecurity risks are out there, what can you do about it? It’s important to educate your remote employees about cybersecurity risks.
Just because they’re not in the office doesn’t mean they’re not at risk. In fact, cybersecurity for remote workers is often more important. They’re not as protected as they would be in an office environment.
There are a few things you can do to help educate your remote employees about cybersecurity risks. As part of the onboarding process, provide them with specific training on how to identify and protect themselves from cyber threats.
Then, make sure they understand your company’s policies and procedures for reporting and responding to potential cybersecurity threats. If you haven’t created those policies yet then definitely take time to do so (but we’ll get into that in a bit!).
Finally, keep them up to date on the latest industry news and developments so they can be as informed as possible about potential risks.
Outside of those basic tips, here are some cybersecurity tips for newly remote teams or even seasoned teams that need a refresher on how to stay safe online.
Provide Employees With Company Devices
While remote work has many benefits, it also poses a challenge in terms of cybersecurity. After all, remote employees aren’t always using company-issued devices, which makes it difficult to maintain secure network access.
So how can businesses safeguard their data when their employees are working remotely? One solution is to provide employees with company-issued devices as part of their remote work toolkit.
This way, businesses can be sure that only authorized users have access to their networks. If you give employees company laptops, for example, you can control which applications and software are installed on the device and ensure that it meets your security standards.
You’re also able to push out security updates and patches more easily.
Additionally, depending on the type of remote work your employees do, you might be able to use employee-monitoring software to track the activity on company devices. This is a bit iffy as you don’t want to infringe on their privacy!
However, if your employees work with a lot of sensitive data then this can help ensure that sensitive information is not being shared without permission.
Adopt a Password Policy
Adopting a password policy is one of the most important things a company can do to improve its cybersecurity posture. By requiring employees to use strong passwords and to change them regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of a data breach.
To implement a policy like this, start by educating your employees about the importance of keeping their passwords confidential. Make sure they know not to share their personal or professional passwords with anyone else.
Also, encourage employees to use two-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of identification, such as a fingerprint or code, in addition to a password.
Looking for great tips on how to implement a password policy? A lot of remote work teams rely on Microsoft 365. If you use the software for work solutions across the board, their password management through OneDrive is great.
Apply Software Updates Regularly
Remote employees should update their software regularly to reduce the risk of cybersecurity threats. Let them know this, but also show them how!
Have them accept and apply updates as soon as they are available. Make sure they update all of their devices. This includes laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
Keep in mind that updates often include security patches that can help protect against new threats.
Warn Employees About WiFi Scams
Despite us living in a technology-driven world, many people are still unaware of the dangers that exist, especially when it comes to using public WiFi. That’s why it’s important to educate your employees about the risks of using public WiFi.
Ultimately, while public WiFi can be convenient, it’s important to remember that it’s also unsecured. This means that anyone can access it, including hackers. Hackers can use public WiFi to steal personal information or even infect devices with malware.
Likewise, once someone is connected to a public WiFi network, the hacker can then gain access to their device and any personal information they have stored on it.
So make sure your employees know not to connect to any unfamiliar WiFi networks, and to be on the lookout for fake networks (yes, this means avoiding working from cafes with public WiFi!).
Warn Employees About Phishing Scams
Another of the most common ways for hackers to gain access to a computer is through phishing scams.
They’ll do this by sending an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate source, such as your bank or a website you use frequently. The email will usually contain a link that takes you to a fake login page, where they can then access your account.
It’s important to warn your employees about these sorts of scams and to remind them to never click on links in emails unless they’re absolutely sure they’re from a trusted source.
Implement the Right Cybersecurity Solutions
You’ve helped your employees understand what the dangers of not taking cybersecurity seriously are. Great! Now what?
With sensitive information ranging from our financial details to our medical records being stored digitally, the stakes are high when it comes to protecting ourselves from cybercriminals. So now, it’s time to implement the right cybersecurity solutions into your business processes.
Implementing the right cybersecurity solutions can seem like a daunting, costly task. However, there are a few key things to keep in mind that can help simplify the process.
Explore Microsoft 365
Explore Microsoft 365 for a comprehensive set of tools that can help you protect your data from cyber threats.
With Microsoft 365, you can:
- Control access to your systems and data
- Encrypt sensitive information
- Receive real-time alerts in case of suspicious activity
In addition, Microsoft 365 provides a central repository for all your security information. Ultimately, this makes it easy to track and manage your security online.
Don’t Rely on VPNs
Too many businesses rely on VPNs as their sole cybersecurity solution. This is a mistake for several reasons.
First of all, VPNs aren’t foolproof. They can be hacked, and once they are, all of your data is exposed. Not only that, but VPNs can be slow and cumbersome, which makes it difficult for employees to do their work.
Additionally, VPNs only protect data that is transmitted over the internet. Didn’t know that? Yep, data that is stored on your company’s servers are still vulnerable to attack.
The bottom line is that you need to implement a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that includes more than just a VPN. Don’t let your business become the next victim of a cyber attack simply because you read online that VPNs were great.
In addition to using a VPN, you should also invest in other security measures such as firewalls, encryption, and two-factor authentication. By implementing the right mix of cybersecurity solutions, businesses like yours can help keep their data safe from hackers.
Upload Important Documents to the Cloud
Uploading important documents to the cloud may seem like a no-brainer when it comes to cybersecurity, but many businesses still don’t take advantage of this simple solution.
The cloud is a secure, off-site location where you can store sensitive data. You can also access it from anywhere with an internet connection. This means that even if one of your employee’s computers is lost or stolen, all data will be safe.
In addition, by using cloud-based storage, you can easily share files with clients and employees. When you do, you don’t have to worry about email attachments or physical copies becoming compromised.
Keep Communications Central
One of the challenges of working remotely is maintaining secure communications. When team members are in different locations, you need to have a central communication hub that everyone can access.
This can be a chatroom or forum. Sometimes, it’s just a shared document where people can post updates and communicate with each other. Keeping communications centralized will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and it will also make it easier to spot potential security breaches.
Again, we suggest Microsoft 365 for this kind of central hub. The benefits of Microsoft 365 specifically for remote teams are numerous.
Namely, it allows team members to connect and collaborate from anywhere in the world. However, the software also provides a suite of tools that can help team members stay productive and organized, even when they’re not in the office.
When it comes to finding the right cybersecurity solution, this is what you’re looking for. You want something that helps improve security. But it should also help with productivity and communication.
Get a Remote Work Assessment
Interested in implementing cybersecurity solutions as part of a transition to remote work? We can help you do that and more. At Remote Work Made Simple, we provide businesses like yours with an assessment for productive remote teams.
We’ll look at ten key performance areas and assess gaps in your workflow across all areas. Then, we’ll help you implement the actions needed to have your team and business working as efficiently as possible.
Smart companies choose Remote Work Made Simple. Why don’t you? Click here to get started. We’ll work with you to ensure your remote worker solutions make your business safer and better.