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Security Issues to Consider with a Remote Workforce

Worker at a home office on a Zoom call.

When organizations suddenly shift their employees to remote work, security tends to take a backseat. It is understandable, but it can put the whole business at risk. Organizations should have policies and protocols to protect their data from threats both outside and within the organization.

As cyberattacks continue to increase, your remote workforce needs to be alert about security risks. This guide will discuss some of the common data security issues that employees need to keep in mind while working from home.

Phishing Attacks

In phishing attacks, criminals send emails impersonating trusted companies or individuals to get sensitive information like usernames, passwords, and credit card details.

The emails usually include malicious links or attachments that infect the person’s system when clicked. In some cases, they ask users to share their personal details via an online form. Phishing can lead to identity theft and financial loss.

Employees must keep their anti-virus software up-to-date and not open suspicious files or emails to avoid phishing attacks. They should also verify the email’s source before clicking on any link or attachment.

Weak Passwords

One of the most common data security problems is weak passwords and poor password management practices. The people working from home may have different levels of experience and awareness regarding cyber security.

They may not be taking precautions as they would in a workplace, so there is an increased risk of them using weak or default passwords for their home devices.

Using a unique password for each site or service reduces the chance that an attacker can gain access to multiple accounts if credentials are compromised. This setup can be difficult to manage, and users often fall back on the same passwords for convenience.

Password managers can help with this by automatically generating long, random passwords and storing them securely so that users don’t need to remember them. Users should also enable two-factor authentication to add another layer of protection wherever available.

Unsecured WiFi

Hackers can easily intercept data sent over unsecured WiFi networks, so your employees must use virtual private networks (VPNs) whenever possible. VPNs create secure connections between your network and remote devices that encrypt data traveling between them.

Poor Device Security

It’s important to establish a standard for employee-owned devices used for work purposes. If a computer at home is infected by malware, it can quickly spread to other devices on the network. This infection can easily happen if an employee’s private device is used for work purposes.

Establish guidelines about what equipment can be used for work-related tasks and what type of security features it needs to have installed — and make sure all employees are aware of these rules.

Ask employees to keep their personal devices disconnected from the company network when they are not in use.

Data Loss

For companies with a remote workforce headquartered in different locations, it is difficult to track changes made to the data by their employees. If an employee leaves a company and takes important files with them, businesses risk losing all of their data.

Luckily, there are tools in place like file tracking software that tracks and records all changes made to a company’s data.

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Contact our team for more information about the many ways our team can enhance your data security and address concerns associated with your remote workforce.

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