Staying Secure When You Have Remote Employees

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, more businesses are switching to remote-first or even 100% remote staffing. Far from being seen as an optional perk only for the most accomplished tech leaders, a largely remote position is now the norm for millions of employees.

Staying Secure When You Have Remote Employees
Staying Secure When You Have Remote Employees

A remote workforce can be efficient, saving you money on everything from computer hardware to office space. But it also adds complexity to your digital security. Working from home compounds the challenges of Bring Your Own Device and adds more on top.

With a proactive approach to network tech, you can protect your data.

Nine Best Practices For Remote Employee Security

Start By Reducing The Scope For Human Error
Use A Unified Endpoint Management Solution
Implement Proactive Network Monitoring
Update Your Password And Authentication Policies
Have A Responsive And Efficient IT Help Desk
Develop And Maintain An Incident Response Plan
Implement The Right Cloud-Based Services
Consider Using An Outside Tech Consultant
Analyze Results And Continuously Improve

Start By Reducing The Scope For Human Error

Because they are still accessing your network resources, your remote personnel remain vulnerable to all the security risks of the office environment. One of the most important is phishing, emails that try to confuse users into providing their password or other sensitive information. Teach your remote employees the hallmarks of a phishing email so they will be less likely to compromise their personally owned devices.

Use A Unified Endpoint Management Solution

UEM refers to an emerging class of solutions for facilitating remote work. With UEM, it is easy to ensure all devices conform to the security policies you set on the administrative level – for example, using SSL and keeping key applications up to date. UEM also enables you to take action immediately when a device is lost or stolen or when someone leaves your business, revoking permissions before they can be misused.

Implement Proactive Network Monitoring

It was not long ago when most IT security focused on perimeter defense. These days, it is just as vital to keep track of traffic patterns within your network. Red flags such as suddenly increased downloading may go unnoticed by a system administrator, but can be flagged for investigation by AI-driven networking monitoring tech. This helps if an employee’s remote hardware is hacked without their notice.

Update Your Password And Authentication Policies

Strong passwords are a must for any business with a blended workforce. If you are moving toward an all-remote team, two-factor authentication is an even stronger approach. With two-factor authentication, users must validate on a second device before using their first device to access sensitive data. That may mean using a security code from their phone or laptop to log into work using their desktop computer, for example.

Have A Responsive And Efficient IT Help Desk

Even with the best of intentions, problems are sure to strike from time to time. For example, employees who lose access to their two-factor authentication device will need help to update their credentials. If you use an internal help desk team, be sure their training is up to date in time to manage these new questions. If you partner with a vendor, expect a detailed plan from them on meeting your needs.

Develop And Maintain An Incident Response Plan

Many organizations are required by law to disclose major data breaches to their customers and investors once they verify an attack took place. In addition to a communications strategy, you also need a plan to investigate the circumstances, remedy the vulnerability at fault, and limit the scope of the damage. Such a plan should also address in detail how remote workers should “lock down” and follow applicable law.

Implement The Right Cloud-Based Services

Having a remote workforce shouldn’t mean leaving IT security fundamentals up to chance. For example, if you wouldn’t expect your office-based personnel to back up their work manually, you should not think your remote teams will do so. Luckily, cloud-based services can close the gap in security posture between home and office. They can apply security patches, update software, and back up critical files on a daily basis.

Consider Using An Outside Tech Consultant

Even if your business has always maintained good security in the past, don’t be blindsided by the challenges of this all-new world. It may be a good idea to tap a third-party tech consultant to help you evaluate your business processes and determine areas of weakness. This goes beyond the IT function to the entire business: For example, you may need experienced Denver employment lawyers to navigate new legal requirements.

Analyze Results And Continuously Improve

With the right training processes and software solutions in place, you will constantly be getting new data about the state of your remote workforce. Keep an eye on your Key Performance Indicators and, just as essentially, on employee feedback. This gives you opportunities to see what isn’t working and intervene early.

The efficiencies of remote work are well worth the risks. With these tips, you will be on your way to controlling the downsides and getting greater ROI from the upsides.

Published by Julie Robert

, passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, I spent most of the time to develop new skills and learning more about the tech world because I derive great satisfaction from helping readers eliminate technological headaches that plague their day-to-day lives.