Due to COVID-19, many businesses have ventured into remote work as a preventative action for their staff members. As this strategy is designed to support both productivity and the safety of employees, it can be easy to ignore the increased risk being placed on a company’s network and sensitive information.
For many businesses, this is the first time they have a large percentage of remote employees, which means few, if any, protocols related to cyber threats are associated with remote work. Hackers have started to take advantage of the COVID-19 situation, making cybersecurity even more essential and urgent.
If your business has suddenly been compelled into a largely remote model, consider the following cybersecurity practices that your company should be embracing.
Using a Password Manager
A password manager is a great way to keep all of your team’s online accounts and password secure. LastPass and 1Password are two of the most popular and well-respected password management systems for storing encrypted passwords online. Both cloud-based platforms enable the safe sharing of passwords so that everyone on a team has secure access whenever they need to do their work.
Many popular software platforms are cloud-based, which offers many advantages for remote employees. However, cloud-based systems are vulnerable to someone impersonating a user to gain access. This generally occurs with weak passwords and can be effectively thwarted with two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication involves a user having to offer two proofs of identity, such as a password and cell phone that can receive a unique code number. This system makes it quite difficult for someone to impersonate a genuine user.
Securing devices like laptops and tablets, also known as “endpoints,” is among the most critical cybersecurity goals for remote teams. Endpoints function as access points to an organization’s network and function as entry points that can be taken advantage of by hackers. Protecting endpoints is even more crucial when remote employees are involved because the endpoints are not restricted to company premises.
Security software can secure devices using encryption and application control to track and block high-risk activities. Encrypting information on endpoints helps prevent data leaks. Application control keeps endpoint users from carrying out unauthorized applications that could generate weaknesses in the system.
Physical Protection Measures
One of the most common cybersecurity breaches occurs when an employee loses a device that hackers then use to access files containing sensitive data. All devices should therefore be protected from access by unauthorized persons in the event that they are lost. Protective measures may include cybersecurity training, password-protected lock screens, tracking software such as the Find My iPhone app, file backups, and sensitive data encryption.
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