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Remote work is here to stay: How to make sure your business is secure

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Remote work is here to stay: How to make sure your business is secure
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It should be evident by now that remote work is here to stay. Whether you have a fully-remote workforce, or if you have just a few people staying home, remote employees are security threats to your business.

With teams now disconnected and away from the main office, it is up to the IT teams to ensure that your business does not fall victim to any cyber threats. Do not fret if you haven’t been keeping up with the latest cybersecurity trends; we are here to help you. Here are some different ways you can ensure that your business stays safe online.

1. Improve Your Business’s Technology

You must invest in your business’s technology if you want to ensure that your company will be safe from cyber attacks.

As your employees move to working from home, nothing should be off the table when it comes to technology purchases. You should act as if your employees do not own any of their own equipment at home.

Some must-have purchases you should make

  • Updated Laptops The most important business tool should be treated as such. Invest in a decent laptop for everyone in the company. It will be costly, but definitely worth the price tag. The newest laptops will be the most equipped to handle a security threat.
  • A Business VPN – With the possibility of some of your employees working outside of the office, that means that they will be off the secured network. A business VPN or a virtual private network, allows your employees to stay connected to a remote network that can encrypt and protect data.
  • Use a VoIP – Cloud VoIP solutions allow your employees to make phone calls over a secure internet connection. VoIP will keep your employees connected and secure no matter where they are in the world, all they need is an internet connection.
  • Install Anti-Malware Software – Just a precaution, anti-malware software is a great tool to have when clicking around on the web. If an employee downloads a sketchy PDF that has malware tacked on, your anti-malware software will identify and destroy the files before any harm can be done.

This equipment will come with some sticker shock, but the price will be justified. In 2019, the average cost of a cyber attack was $369,000, whereas ten new Macbook Pro computers with a business VPN for each will set you back about $22,000.

Not every business will have the money available to improve their business security. Investing in a small business loan can help you unlock the funds to move your business into the 21st century without taking funds from elsewhere in the business.

2.  Draft a New Employee Technology Policy

Humans, by nature, fail. We are not perfect, nor should we be expected to be. We can, however, put systems in place to mitigate our chances of experiencing failure.

In 2017, nearly half of all business leaders said that human error had led to a data breach within their company. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and something as simple as clicking the wrong hyperlink can lead to disaster for a company.

As your employees move to work from home, we recommend updating your technology policy to improve your employees’ awareness of cyber threats. Your company’s policies should change as the world changes around it.

This new policy should serve as a reminder that your employees must be cautious when working from home.

Some top things to include in your new technology policy

  1. Keep personal and work devices separate – Work data should stay on work devices and personal data should stay on personal devices. Something as simple as accessing your email on your personal computer can open your account to security risks.
  2. Stay on secure networks. Network security at home is going to be worse than in the office. While this is true, even worse is public WiFi. If your employees decide to work from their favorite café, a hot-spot or VPN is the way to go to ensure safe internet use.
  3. Enable two-factor verification. Your employees will likely groan over this one, but establish a two-step verification system for their business accounts.
  4. Report phishing attempts. We all do it too often; you get a spammy email from a spoof account and delete it. Next time this happens, report it to your IT department for future monitoring.
  5. Stay diligent. The best tip we can provide is to remain skeptical. If a link looks suspicious, or if a site is not secure, avoid it. At the end of the day your employees and yourself are the first line of defense.

Boasting a more remote workforce is an exciting step forward into the future of work productivity, but it does come with some downfalls. When it comes to your cyber security, being proactive and upfront with your technology policy will decrease your risk of a cyber attack.

3. Secure Your Business’s Equipment

While odd to think, many hackers actually can infiltrate your system by accessing your equipment, physically. We live in a time where more work technology is going outside of the office. Once that piece of technology leaves the office, it is up to the employee to make sure it stays safe.

As an employer, be sure to remind your employees to keep their devices close by at all times. The amount of data a hacker can access in just a few minutes on an unlocked laptop is astronomical.

To best counteract physical security risks, we recommend that every employee locks their computer every time they walk away from it. Also, secure any thumb drive, phone, or any other peripheral devices that may have sensitive data on them.

Luckily, there are tools in place to help us decrease the chances of equipment theft of manipulation. Software offerings like AssetPanda help IT departments manage every device that a business uses. From GPS tracking to remote updates, asset management software is a must for any small business.

Final Words

Cyber crime is a growing threat that is starting to impact businesses of all sizes. Hackers are no longer only targeting large-scale corporations, but instead are focused on the smaller businesses that they know lack the resources to fend off an attack.

With the world moving towards a more digital environment, there are more opportunities for criminals to steal your data. Instilling some of our best tips and tricks will ensure your team a safe transition into the new remote workforce.

If you have any questions regarding business technology, or more specifically you want to learn about our VoIP solutions, contact us. Currently, we are offering a 30-day trial that will provide you with everything you need to start making business calls today.

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Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?

Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?

Start a free 30 day trial now, no credit card details are needed!

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