With the popularity of remote working increasing exponentially over the past decade, it has been said that by 2020 50% of UK workers will be working remotely. It is not hard to see why this may be the case as the benefits that remote working can bring to a business are significant, including improved efficiency, increased job satisfaction, reduced overhead costs, to name but a few. Remote working could, however, bring with it substantial security issues should it not be handled in the appropriate way.
So how can businesses benefit from having a remote workforce whilst ensuring their data and systems are fully protected from threats?
Security for remote working
Strong password etiquette
In its most basic form, adequate security for any remote worker should begin by having strong passwords across all devices, applications and software. These should be complex passwords containing letters (upper and lower case), symbols and numbers and must not be in reference to the company or the individual (e.g. names, birthdays, company name, etc).
Use secure cloud software
Effective cloud storage applications will have robust security policies in place to protect the data of any user. Using these applications (such as Microsoft Office 365) will allow remote workers to access their emails, calendars and share files, securely.
Your company should schedule regular backups across all devices used by remote workers. Data and document loss can occur for any number of reasons, from cyber attacks to spillages that damage a device or even accidental deletion; by backing up regularly you ultimately ensure that workers can retrieve the latest version of a document and therefore reducing downtime.
Provide detailed company guidelines to remote workers
Educating your staff on the appropriate use of company devices, whilst working remotely is essential to ensuring that your network is not exposed to potential security threats (such as personal emails).
Use security software across all remote devices
Security software is a necessity for all business devices, you must have antivirus software, firewalls in place as well as device and email encryption to ensure that your security is adequate.
Ensure updates are completed
Installing new updates and ensuring your remote employees are working on the latest operating system will provide a much higher level of protection to your network. Software companies understand the importance of cyber security and therefore each update aims to increase the level of security it can provide. To ensure these updates are carried out, we recommend programming devices for automatic updates.
Public Wi-Fi networks
The correct use of public Wi-Fi should be stipulated in your remote working guidelines and care must be taken when using an unknown network as some connections are not encrypted leaving your machine vulnerable to attack.
The team at MWL Systems are experts in implementing effective security procedures for those businesses with remote workforces. Speak to our experts today to find out how our services will benefit your business.