7 Tips to Keep Remote Workers Safe

In 2020, when the covid-19 pandemic hit the world, the remote work model emerged as a temporary solution due to global lockdowns, and curfews. But, shortly remote work model was embraced by many employees as it provided many benefits such as flexible working hours, better life-work balance, less stress, customized workspace, no commuting, and so on. 

 

As of 2022, employees don’t want to turn back solely on-premise work models. A recent Gallup survey reveals that 59% of employees wish to work in a hybrid arrangement, while only 9% of employees want to work fully in on-premise settings. In this regard, remote work doesn’t seem to diminish from our professional lives in the near future. So, businesses have to implement some measures, and security policies to keep remote workers safe. 

 

Maintaining remote work security is more important than ever because weak end-point in corporate networks can be the main source of data breaches. During the pandemic, cyber crimes increased exponentially as malicious actors exploited the weaknesses of remote workers. Implementing some security policies and measures can help businesses to mitigate the security risks related to the remote workforce. Let’s explain 7 tips to keep remote workers safe further. 

 

1- Investing in a Good VPN

To secure a remote workforce, VPNs are essential components as they enable secure remote access to corporate networks and resources. VPNs create private connections between remote users and corporate resources over the internet. While using a VPN, employees’ online activities can’t be monitored or tracked by anybody, even internet service providers (ISP) can’t see your business’ internal activities. 

 

If your business is mostly dependent on the remote workforce, VPNs will maintain their online anonymity and privacy. Additionally, VPNs use end-to-end encryption that makes all data transfers unreadable to unauthorized third-party entities. So, VPNs are great solutions to keep remote workers safe against cyber attacks. 

 

2- Put Strict Password Protocols

Weak passwords can be easily compromised, that’s why businesses should put strict password protocols for employees, and give explicit directions about password requirements, regular password changes, etc. Additionally, employees need to set unique passwords for their work accounts. Because when employees use exactly the same passwords that they use in their personal accounts, they can fall victim to credential stuffing. This method is frequently used by cybercriminals. So, employees should be aware of security risks associated with passwords because a lack of password security can cause data breaches.  

 

3- Use Multi-Factor Authentication  

Multi-factor authentication tools require users to enter two or more credentials before they can access the corporate networks and resources. For example, some MFA tools can demand SMS text message codes to verify users’ identities while others might require users to approve access from client authentication apps. While using MFA tools, even if cyber criminals possess an employee’s user ID and password, they won’t be able to access the corporate networks without entering additional credentials. By all means, MFA tools enable an extra layer of security, and these are excellent solutions to keep remote workers safe.  

 

4- Train Your Employees

From top to bottom, everyone in your company needs to learn cyber security basics and remote work security practices. Additionally, all employees should be well informed about common cyber attacks such as phishing, social engineering, malware, etc. The main purposes of training employees are to increase their awareness about current cyber risks and encourage employees to maintain a secure work environment. 

 

When you create cyber security courses for employees, they can be more cautious while working remotely, and adhere to your company’s security policies at all times. In the long term, training your employees will benefit your business more than you think because employees will avoid actions that can lead to cyber-attacks.  

 

5- Distribute Work Devices to Remotely Working Employees

If possible, distribute work devices to every remotely working employee because corporate devices diminish the need to use the same laptop for their personal activities such as online shopping, social media, etc. When employees use the laptop both for work and personal activities, these devices increase the security risks. Because on the internet there are lots of fake online shopping portals and malware that can be derived from social media activities. 

 

Once one of your employee’s laptops is infected with malware, cybercriminals can access your resources through this employee’s device. Additionally, if you use multi-factor authentication with corporate devices, you will have greater control over how your corporate networks and resources are accessed by remotely working employees, and corporate devices are easier to protect against malware and data leakage.

 

6- Inform Employees About Latest Updates

Cyber security is a constantly evolving landscape, meaning all corporate devices, and operating systems will always require regular updates and patches to improve security or fix security flaws, and gaps. Updating and patching the tools that are used by employees is essential. When new updates are available for the tools, you should always inform employees via emails, in-app notifications, etc. Because most of the time, people forget to do available updates or ignore them. That’s why employees should be notified about new updates regularly.

 

7- Remote Work Doesn’t Mean Work From Anywhere

Covid-19 pandemic isn’t frightening as it was in 2020, and nowadays employees enjoy working in public places like co-working spaces, coffee shops, airports, etc. But, while working in places other than their homes, they usually use unsecured Wifi to access corporate resources and perform their daily duties. 

 

Unsecured networks are immensely risky, and employees should be informed about unsecured networks, and avoid these connections at all times. If they have to use these unsecured networks, they must use VPNs to access corporate resources. But, employees should be advised to work from their homes and use Wifi encryption. 

 

Last Words

As of 2022, most businesses are still dependent on remotely working employees, but work-from-home policies bring increased security risks along. To cope with modern cyber security risks, businesses should implement some security measures and put security policies in place. Lastly, employees should adhere to these security policies at all times.

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