Entrepreneurs and senior managers should be used to running remote teams smoothly by now, but they need to keep in mind that this type of work comes with a substantial security risk.
According to the report, more than 50% of IT professionals believe that remote employees pose a greater security risk than on-site employees. Another study reveals that 41% of remote workers are accessing confidential work information using unsecured personal applications.
A serious business must find ways to prevent cybersecurity incidents and take precautionary measures to protect both employees and the company as a whole. Luckily enough, you can do a number of simple but practical steps to fortify your online business. Here are 10 keys to making a safe remote team.
Rethink Your Security Policy
Every business has (or at least should have) a security policy in place, but now is just about the right time to reconsider your safety measures and strengthen the system. How can you do it most efficiently?
Start by ensuring an effortless transition to remote work practices and include additional instructions related to the confidentiality of business procedures, cloud technologies, employee privacy, access to company-related data, and so on. Get your team acquainted with all these principles and you’ll have a good starting point security-wise.
Use the Right Security Program
Having a reliable security platform does not guarantee full protection, but it will significantly reduce the odds of falling into the trap of malicious attacks. You should read online testimonials and explore different options to identify the right security program for your remote team.
It’s like trying to find the top essay writing services as you will probably read a lot of resources such as the UKessays review and many others. You will bump into hundreds of options, but we suggest testing tools like Pure VPN and Encrypt.“
Protect Your Online Meetings
Hackers are also targeting online conferences and other sorts of virtual meetings, so you ought to be aware of it and protect group events taking place on the Internet. We can give you a few simple tips on how to secure online meetings:
- Use a trustworthy tool like Zoom or similar
- Limit access to team members only
- Make sure that no one is recording the conference
- Don’t share sensitive files and documents via chat or messenger
Keep Reminding Colleagues of the Basic Security Features
Some cybersecurity tips may seem trivial, but they can fend off the vast majority of malicious attacks. A report proves that as much as 95% of cybersecurity breaches occur due to human error, so you have to keep reminding colleagues of the basic safety features.
For example, they should never open email attachments from unknown senders. Another important suggestion is to avoid public Wi-Fi networks because that’s exactly where many hackers are usually operating. Although simple, such tips will solidify defense mechanisms of your remote unit.
Password Protection Is Fundamental
The importance of passwords is so obvious that it requires little to no explaining, but we must share the most relevant password-related ideas with you.
First of all, remind your team members to create and use complex passwords only. Jake Gardner, a cybersecurity officer, explains that solutions such as “123456” or “qwerty” don’t make a difference and become an easy target even for beginner-level hackers: “If needed, tell your colleagues to use a password generator if they don’t know how to create a trustworthy password.”
Secondly, it is highly recommended to use two-factor authentication. It’s a very convenient protection mechanism that solves 99% of cybersecurity issues.
Pay Attention to BYOD
Some remote employees will work on their own laptops or personal computers, so you must pay attention to the “Bring Your Own Device” behavior. If they can connect to the official business network and access data just like any other member of the internal ecosystem, then you need to take the extra step and make sure that a given worker’s computer is perfectly safe and sound.
Encourage Continuous Communication
This tip is not strictly related to cybersecurity, but it’s important if you want to maintain the highest level of functionality. How come? Well, you and your team members need to keep in touch and discuss business plans, tasks, goals, and achievements.
Besides that, everyday communication will help you as a manager to keep the colleagues updated about possible changes in the security policy. You can share news about the latest antivirus programs, additional tools, and all other details that influence the team’s cybersecurity directly or indirectly.
Keep All Tools and Systems Up To Date
Businesses of all sizes are not exactly known for their readiness to update cybersecurity functions. For example, a study revealed that 50% of critical to high-security flaws involved outdated components. In such circumstances, the only reasonable reaction is to keep all tools and systems up to date.
As soon as you see an update notification, you should activate it. This goes for all of the tools you and your team may be running, including antivirus programs, plugins, themes, or any other software.
Beware of Suspicious Details
Prevention is crucial in remote work, but you should also teach your employees how to recognize unusual or suspicious details and features. We can name some of the most common signs of a malware breach:
- A brand new program suddenly pops up.
- New browser tabs begin appearing out of nothing.
- A mouse or keyboards run out of control.
- A personal device begins running much slower than usual.
Create a Crisis Management Strategy
Finally, you should always have a crisis management strategy at your disposal just in case something wrong starts happening. How will you stay in touch with the employees? Do you have a cybersecurity specialist ready to react? These and many other questions become very important in case of emergency, so do your best to answer them in your crisis management document.
Up to You!
Remote work is incredibly practical in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it does come with a few shortcomings as well. Security is one of the major issues virtual teams are dealing with, so you need to be ready to react timely and prevent data breaches and other types of incidents.
In this article, we presented a step-by-step guide on how to build a safe remote team. How many steps have you taken so far?