There are very few businesses that don’t have staffers who are often on-the-road, if not one or two employees who regularly work remotely. However, with this shift in the workforce comes new security risks, especially concerning data. Today’s organizations harbor more data than ever before, and with that comes the responsibility of effectively storing and protecting that data.
As we’ve seen many times in the past few years, the consequences of acting unethically or carelessly with such information can cause reputational harm as well as financial penalties. For example, Marriott International’s $124 million fine after the data of 500 million customers was compromised. It is no wonder that many industries have implemented standards and regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, and HITECH. These rules have only grown in complexity, making it that more essential to implement policies and educate remote workers.
Here’s what you can do to ensure your employees are compliant.
Developing a remote work policy is not only useful for guiding operations but also guaranteeing compliance. Remote access policies determine what is expected of telecommuting staff, who has access to what data, approved applications, guidelines on archiving and backups, and security update schedules. As should be the case with on-premise employees, restrict data to only the employees that need access to them – very few should have access to everything.
Employees are often the weak link when protecting business data which is why keeping them educated is so important. Security measures like utilizing secure passwords, two-factor authentication and the understanding of how to address suspicious emails are key knowledge.
While it would be great to give staffers the benefit of the doubt, organizations cannot afford to do so. Employees should be aware of policies to follow and of course, the consequences if they don’t.
One of the key differences found in remote work is that there can be a lack of security outside the business network. Your mobile staff should never connect to a public network without the proper measures, such as technology that monitors and manages data transfers to minimize theft. Also consider implementing a secure connection to the company network by utilizing a VPN that leverages SSL or IPsec to encrypt communications. For further avoidance of breaches, utilize multi-factor authentication.
Of course, not all of the security solutions you will want to implement are to keep hackers out. Some of them are to help prevent user error, for example backups and archiving, which prevent files, software, and applications from being lost in the event of accidental deletion or perhaps even a stolen device.
For an effective data security strategy, a team should be in place to monitor and control remote activities. Not sure if your team has the bandwidth for such a task? When it comes to ensuring your remote workforce is secure without compromising your time, partnering with a managed services provider is the best option. After all, the stress of keeping everyone compliant and data secure can be a full-time job. Leave that stress to the experts.
Employees working outside the office doesn’t have to mean a loss of control over data – the Netzbahn team can remove the stress and complexity of managing your systems and networks.