Countless employees work in home offices, remote offices or public locations outside a business’s headquarters. While convenient, these areas typically lack robust on-site security.
If your company has embraced remote workplaces, learn the best ways to keep data safe from prying eyes.
Virtual Networks: Be sure to carefully control access to software, applications and data stored on the main office servers. A VPN, or virtual private network can extend a remote office's reach to the main server using secure authentication methods.
Cloud Services: Cloud storage allows remote workers to seamlessly send and share data. That said, make sure to educate your employees about the risks of sharing sensitive information with the wrong people. You should also carefully vet any cloud service to make sure its security is up to par.
Software Patches: Be sure workers set their computers for automatic software and operating system updates to prevent anyone from exploiting software vulnerabilities.
Protective Software: Invest in an effective spy and malware protection system and update your virus definitions on a regular basis. You should also install a firewall to keep your computer files from being scanned.
Physical Protection: Many companies fail to consider real-world threats, such as fire, theft and hardware failure. Be sure home and remote offices are protected by alarm systems, secure locks and fireproof safes. You should also back-up critical data somewhere off-site. A good paper shredder is also important, especially when sensitive information could alienate a partner or give competitors an upper hand.
Educate Your Employees
Before entrusting them with sensitive or irreplaceable data, educate your workers about the importance of security. Make sure they do not leave laptops unattended and logged on in unsecured areas and public places. Tell them to ignore unsolicited emails and to be wary of attachments, even if the message appears to be from someone they know. If possible, have your IT department conduct a class explaining the risks associated with shareware sites and any other potential bad neighborhoods that could put your company's data at risk.