Having dispersed, remote workforces has become the new normal for many businesses. It’s become an almost seamless practice, thanks to technology advancements. But information security best practices must always be observed to ensure you’re providing a highly secure and stable environment for your remote workers as well as your business.
Review these three key areas—readiness, policies and security practices—to ensure you’re doing all the right things to secure your remote workforce.
When it comes to preparing for remote workers, consider the following:
- Review employee hardware requirements needed to work remotely (e.g., computer, keyboard, mouse, monitor; broadband internet/Wi-Fi; printers and scanners).
- Verify that employees have a reliable broadband Internet connection (50Mb x 5 Mb or higher to support multiple endpoints and video calls/VoIP).
- Set up network connectivity for each employee (LAN-hardwired connections, reliable dual-ban wireless router, secure and segregated connections to IoT, TVs, PCs, etc.).
- Ensure secure and reliable access to all critical applications and data via VPN from employees’ home office and that all licenses are up to date and adequate.
- Set up and put in place web conferencing and collaboration tools.
- Check remote access to the business phone system either through VoIP/softphone or other solution.
An effective information security program starts with creating a culture of security awareness. Policies are essential toward this end. Here are some key considerations:
- Review your bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy to manage personal devices that remote workers may use at home for business purposes.
- Make sure your remote work and network access policy is clear, enforceable and up to date.
- Enable remote access for each device employees will be using.
- With hackers targeting remote environments and an increase in phishing scams, the risk of security breaches is high. Consider including the following as part of your incident response plan: acceptable use policy, data breach policy, password protection policy and disaster recover plan policy.
Remote workers can expose systems and networks to the risk of cyberattacks and breaches. It’s important to ensure the right security measures are in place to support secure IT operations. These include the following:
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to improve login security.
- Install a secure VPN on your servers.
- Ensure all operating systems, browsers and applications are patched and up to date.
- Install a monitoring and remote access tool to ensure proper authentication.
- Follow system access protocols.
- Conduct ongoing security awareness training for employees.
If you would like assistance with putting a work-from-home technology plan in place, contact us. We’ll review your remote workforce needs and suggest solutions to keep your operations secure from any location.