When the pandemic started spreading across the globe, one of the most significant changes that happened to the business world was the massive shift to remote working. Due to a variety of safety concerns, professionals from most industries were left with no choice but to work from home. And as expected, this abrupt change presented a lot of difficulties to companies of all sizes.
To ensure a smooth transition, it became necessary for organizations to go agile and practice communication over digital channels. However, while companies were able to find digital solutions to moving their operations out of the office, this led to the increased danger of cyber threats. If your team has recently become remote, here are three ways to protect them:
Protect Your Data: Re-evaluate security protocols
Now that employees are working from their homes, it grows even more important for business leaders to take the time to reassess the cybersecurity measures they have in place. After all, the practices that employees adhere to while working in the office will be much harder to implement in a remote working setup, especially if workers are using their own laptops. Aside from going through privacy policies and access permissions for all the confidential and proprietary data, re-evaluating security protocols should also entail the introduction of initiatives that strengthen endpoint security.
Ensuring endpoint security can encompass the regular updating of software and operating systems, as well as the use of anti-virus applications and network firewalls. While there’s an abundance of free anti-virus applications out there that employees can use and install themselves, it would be better for companies to provide security protection. This will ensure that your entire team is protected to your company’s standard.
Maintaining an accurate asset inventory is also something you would want to do. With an inventory that records the devices and applications that can access sensitive company data, spotting attack vectors like reused passwords, unpatched software and/or unsecured devices will be a whole lot easier.
Protect your Employees: Retrain your team
In a remote setup, your very first line of defense against cyber threats are your employees. To further hone their cyber resilience and vigilance, what you can do as an employer or business leader is to introduce regular cybersecurity training programs. Such an initiative will not only instill the best cybersecurity practices but also help employees stay up to date with the latest schemes, such as the COVID-19 related scams. As Security Magazine explained, such scams have targeted companies by impersonating the United Nations and initiating phishing attacks through emails that spoke of small business relief. With regular training programs, it wouldn’t take long for employees to develop a certain level of wariness and meticulousness over the networks they connect to, the emails they receive, and the links they click. This will significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to cybersecurity threats.
Protect Yourself: Reconsider your business structure
To this day, employee negligence continuous to be one of the most common causes of data breaches. Since more and more employees are expected to work from home from here on out, picking a business structure that provides better legal protection would be the best option for most enterprises.
In an age where data is king and cyber threats abound, businesses are expected to protect their customers’ information at all costs. Something that is much harder with remote teams. Should the worst happen and you experience a data breach then you need to be properly protected? If your organization is currently a sole proprietorship, consider either switching to an LLC structure or incorporating your business.
The reason for this is that a switch will help limit your liability and the liability of your teams. The protection an LLC provides is that your business is considered a separate legal entity. This means you will not be held liable should your business be sued for a data breach. In the case of British Airways and Marriott International, which both experienced the biggest data breaches in recent years such lawsuits amounted to a fine of $26 million and $24 million, respectively. A smaller business that gets fined will likely have to close down without proper protection. Putting your remote team out of a job.
Now that remote working is here to stay and most companies are considering having a hybrid workforce, it is imperative that companies do everything they can to keep cyber threats at bay. Re-evaluating security protocols, retraining your team and reconsidering your business structure are only some of the ways you can make your company cyber secure.