With BYOD and flexible working environments, remote working has escalated massively due to the conveniences of nature in the harsh business world. Although it is easier for the employees, it possesses a high IT risk for the employers, the business IT network, devices, and systems.
FREMONT, CA: Working remotely is the most common practice followed throughout the business world at present. If CIOs properly manage the system, enhanced productivity and satisfaction among employees can be achieved. However, the trend opens up a new line of security threats. The CIOs need to take appropriate actions to protect the valuable company data handled by remote workers.
• Utilize Tools to Help Secure Data:
Several methods exist for preventing unauthorized access to business information, especially when working on the road. Devices should be set to a mode wherein they can lock themselves after a few minutes in idle mode. Especially in case of no password or fingerprint lock set for security. Access to data should be prevented by installing encryption software that will safeguard the data if the device is lost. Many security tools with a “remote wipe” function can also be implemented to securely remove the data on the device when it is compromised. Collaborative tools such as email, IM, or other communication applications should be understood in terms of security features to make full use of it.
• Update Systems for Security:
The updated software also brings in the latest security measures along with bug fixes. These updates include security patches for the vulnerabilities discovered by the developers. The key to keeping the system secure is to ensure that automatic updates for the operating systems and other software are always turned on.
While choosing antivirus software, it is of utmost importance to make sure it runs scans continuously on a regular basis. In contrary to what the users believe, the installation of two antivirus programs will not do anything extra to improve security. It is more likely to interfere with each other’s scans and effectively slow the device down. In an idealistic world, optimal security is when the mentioned rules are followed along with the added protection features turned on in the web browser as well.
• Avoid Linking to Unknown Devices and Networks:
When the idea of convenience materializes, it becomes a public Wi-Fi network. Regardless of how good the speed is or how freely available it is, it is best when avoided. The public networks, once linked, will leave the device vulnerable to a plethora of attacks; hence the conducting any business-critical activities in an open network is risky business. In case of emergencies or lack of options, when an unsecured Wi-Fi network is utilized, it is recommended that a VPN that encrypts the data in transmission should be employed.
The most data threatening feature is when public computers are used to access personal accounts, and the business-critical transaction is conducted. When using a public computer, it is best to access the internet in a “private browsing” mode. This mode will not access any sensitive information and automatically clear cookies from history when the browser is exited.
Since it is the digital age, data rules the businesses, and the best complimentary handouts in business conferences are promotional USB Sticks. They are highly likely to be infected with malware without the knowledge of the organizers. These devices should not be plugged into a personal device until and unless it is cross-verified by the IT department of the company.
• Always Keep Business and Personal Data Separate:
Online shopping, updating bucket lists, and accessing personal emails or social media accounts should be refrained from execution during work. By doing so, both personal data and business data can become vulnerable to theft or loss. Vigilance is imperative in case of social media usage for business networking. Security breaches can occur from any avenue resulting in information being leaked, regardless of the visibility of the closed group. It is a great decision to hold back from making the personal information public in social media as it can fuel an identity theft.
• Security Guidelines are Meant to be Followed:
It is requisite to understand and analyze the company’s policies that are related to IT security and the usage of mobile computing devices for working remotely. Companies that are aware of the consequences of data security breach will deploy a variety of preventive and protective measures on personal devices. For example, any attempt to circumvent or supersede the security measures, such as “jail-breaking” in an Apple device will expose the mobile device to various risks such as malware and hacking.
Various monitoring devices are utilized for remote work among businesses. These devices run round the clock to hold down the IT infrastructure safely and to possibly detect the source of the intrusion attempts.
In case of any breaches like the loss of a device containing unencrypted sensitive information that could alter the security of the company, an immediate notification about the damage should be provided. The instant notification will allow the IT team of the company to handle the situation without causing further complications.