Many of the cybersecurity vulnerabilities that come with a hybrid workforce can be minimized with clear-cut policies, training, and IT support. These 9 best practices can prevent or at least minimize the threat of being exposed to a security breach.
1. Encrypt stored data – In case a device is stolen, you can avoid a disastrous data breach if the data on your device is encrypted. Make sure that remote workers are all using devices that are set to encrypt all stored data.
2. Enable email encryption – Emails are another point of vulnerability for remote workers. Just as you want to ensure that all stored data is encrypted, it’s also a good idea to encrypt the data attached to any email, as this will prevent an unintended recipient from viewing the information.
3. Don’t allow non-employees to access work devices – When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s important to keep as much control as possible over devices. Remote employees should never share their devices with non-employees.
4. Disable all external drives – USB thumb drives are some of the most popular vehicles for bad actors to use to install malware. These malicious actors would install malware onto 30 or 60 thumb drives and then distribute them where an unsuspecting worker would pick one up and, thinking it was theirs, plug it into their device. You should disable all external drives on work devices.
5. Implement password policies – Your employees may unknowingly invalidate several expensive security measures if they use weak or repetitive passwords. Make sure that your company has a password policy in place instructing employees to choose strong, unique passwords and to have different passwords for different applications. Work passwords should also be different from any personal passwords.
6. Keep employees away from nefarious websites – Torrent and pirated websites will obviously expose your business to a host of malware. Most companies have a prohibition against employees going to such sites on work devices. Blocking software and services can add another layer of protection.
7. Train employees to recognize signs of a breach and report immediately – The sooner your IT or security team finds out about a breach, the better the outlook will be. Train your employees to recognize the signs of a security breach and to report it as soon as possible to your IT or security team.
8. Avoid public Wi-Fi – Working out of a local café may seem idyllic but using their Wi-Fi can cause a host of problems. The lack of firewalls allows anyone using that network to easily hack into your company’s data. If you still want to work from a café, use a personal mobile hotspot or VPN.
9. Be aware of surroundings – Losing a laptop is bad enough, but if there is a data breach on top of that, it could be a catastrophe. Remind your remote workers not to be careless with their work laptops. If they happen to be working in a public space, they should remain alert. They should make sure that sight lines are blocked as they work, meaning, no one can sit behind them and watch/record everything they are doing.
Final Thoughts… Remote and hybrid work has become more appealing than ever to both employees and business owners, but security breaches can happen. If you implement best practices now, you and your team will be able to enjoy all the benefits of remote work with added peace of mind.
CTS offers industry-leading HIPAA-compliant secure communications solutions. Contact us today to learn more about safeguarding your business communications: 800.787.4848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.