Five Data Security Strategy Tips to Start Using Now
Whether you’ve already adapted a virtual office environment or are still thinking about it, developing a data security strategy is critical when factoring in the needs of a remote workforce.
According to a report by Cisco, nearly 6% of employees admitted to transferring files between work and personal computer when working from home. This high risk behavior puts your company’s data at risk and could potentially cost you thousands of dollars in recovery costs. How should you secure company data when dealing with a remote workforce?
We’ve got five tips to help you develop and implement an ironclad data security plan for your virtual employees.
#1 – Create a Secure Connection
Maintaining a secure network is paramount whether your employees are working remotely or not. Consider having your remote workforce use a virtual private network (VPN). With a VPN, you won’t have to worry about telecommuters accessing corporate data on their private computer or work using an unsecured public connection. You should also consider setting up multi-factor identification to avoid data breaches. You could also use a remote desktop security layer to limit company files from being copied or saved to your remote employee’s computer.
#2 – Develop a Remote Work Policy
Your remote work policy should clearly define what virtual workforce needs to do and what you expect of them when telecommuting. Your new remote work policy may also include a security update schedule, approved messaging applications, and guidelines on required back-ups.
#3 – Secure Essential IT Tools and Resources
When planning to offer work-from home privileges or opportunities, your company should have the required tools and skills to monitor and support your remote workers. A good data security strategy for your remote workers is to give your IT team control over remote activities and devices. Some factors to look into are browser privacy, account lockouts, password management, and firewall configurations.
#4 – Protect Your Devices
An important aspect of a security strategy is protecting your remote workers’ devices from viruses, malware, and unauthorized access. Encourage your remote workforce to learn computer security best practices, such as regularly updating operating systems and applications they use for work. It’s also important that they only install trusted security software.
#5 – Use Web-Based Applications
Using trusted cloud services takes a portion of security responsibilities off your shoulders as most of these providers have touch security measures in place to protect services and users from potential security threats. When choosing a provider, make sure you understand the kind of service and protection you’re getting. If you need help deciding what cloud services are best for your business, make sure to consult with professional managed IT service who can help you understand your options.
Having a data security strategy in place for your remote workers gives you the peace of mind that sensitive company data is always protected no matter where it’s accessed. It also encourages accountability among your remote workforce as they become more aware of where and when to access company data.