Of all the changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, remote working has had among the biggest impacts. Businesses of all sizes, working across countless industries, have found themselves in a world where remote working is the norm – and is forecast to stay this way for some time still, if not indefinitely.
So as businesses feel their way through the new age of remote working, there’s one issue that needs serious consideration – data security.
By fundamentally changing the ways in which people work, companies could unwittingly be putting their data at risk. As more devices are purchased and issued to staff, the potential for them to be lost or stolen will only increase. There’s also the chance these devices could be connected to unsecured and dangerous WiFi hotspots, or that users opt for weaker passwords (or re-using them multiple times) now they have more devices under their control.
All of which throws the door wide open to hackers and cyber criminals.
To combat this, businesses need to pivot their data security measures, to focus less on the office environment and more on the users themselves.
In terms of unsecured networks, businesses may be wise to assume that all employees across all devices are getting online this way. Though it may sound like an overreaction, this harks back to the old adage of a chain only being as strong as its weakest link; if one device connects to a spurious network, it could have the same impact as all devices doing so. Therefore, businesses should assume this is the case from the outset, and implement a reverse proxy and VPN-less connection to combat it.
As for data loss or breaches, companies may wish to centralise data – even as their workers de-centralise. By using virtual desktops, employees can work on data without making remote copies – leaving key information safely stored in the cloud.
Password hacking, meanwhile, can be better protected against through two-factor authentication. This approach is becoming more widespread by the day, so employees should be somewhat used to (and certainly amenable to) providing their mobile number or using an app to verify their identity with more than just alphanumeric passwords.
These three steps will go a long way to preventing the most common causes of data loss even if they are not the only precautions businesses should be taking to protect themselves.
For more information on secure remote working, please speak to a member of our team today on 01293 876 000.