5 ways to improve remote cybersecurity for your hybrid team. As workforces increasingly pivot to hybrid models, teams need to consider the unique security challenges posed by working from home.
Hybrid work environments, where employees work from home and come to the office, pose unique challenges when it comes to cybersecurity. In a recent survey conducted by OpenVPN, 90 percent of IT workers polled said they believe remote workers are not secure. Over one-third said they have experienced a security incident due to unsecured remote workers.
We’ve outlined five ways you can improve your remote cybersecurity, so you can avoid putting your hybrid team at risk.
1. Set up a secure network.
When you’re in a physical office space, it’s important to have a private, password-protected WiFi network that all employees can use to work. However, when working from home, workers will be using whatever wireless network they have access to remotely. Setting up a virtual private network, or VPN, is one way to add an extra layer of cybersecurity protection. Using a VPN allows people within your company to connect and interact on one, secure private network, regardless of where they are geographically.
2. Encourage multi-factor authentication (MFA).
Multi-Factor authentication, sometimes also called two-factor authentication, is another way to add a layer of security to your work logins. MFA requires the user to present two different credentials from two different categories when logging in to an account. One of the most common examples is entering a unique password and then entering a verification code that is sent via text or third party authentication app. Because the two factors have to be from different categories, two passwords would not qualify as MFA. This system makes it more difficult for hackers to break into users’ accounts and keeps your work network better protected.
3. Invest in email scanning and encryption software.
Scam emails spiked majorly at the start of the COVID pandemic, with IT company Barracuda Networks saying in April 2020 that it had seen a 667 percent increase in phishing emails amid the health crisis. As such, investing in email scanning or filtering software to detect potentially malicious messages could save you in the long run. Such software typically filters inbound and outbound emails to detect whether they classify as phishing, spam, a virus or a suspicious link. Emails also often contain sensitive or confidential data and it’s important to protect that information from any outsiders. You can do this by using a software to encrypt the data attached to emails on your server to prevent any unintended recipients from seeing it.
4. Keep work and personal technology separate.
A recent HP Wolf Security report conducted during the pandemic found that 46 percent of workers now think of their work laptop as a personal device, while 84 percent of IT leaders surveyed were concerned that using work devices for personal tasks has increased their company’s risk of a security breach. Work from home also presents the problem of workers accessing sensitive data from their personal devices, which may not be as secure as company-issued ones. Both of these situations pose a cybersecurity risk, so you may consider instituting a policy for employees to keep their work and personal devices completely separate whenever possible.
5. Commit to ongoing employee training.
One of the most important aspects of improving your cybersecurity is making sure your employees, and everyone who has access to your network, are on board and up to speed on the best practices. This process can include conducting cybersecurity training sessions or simply sending regular reminders about using the VPN, crafting secure passwords, spotting phishing emails and other fraudulent activity or whatever security concerns apply to your unique situation.
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