It cannot be denied that 2020 has irrevocably changed the way we work at all levels. Remote working has become a reality in the corporate world. The vast majority of companies have had to transform their operations so that employees can work from home.
While the advancement of technology and the internet has made this fulcrum possible, the sudden change in the work environment brings its own problems. More than ever, data is at risk.
To a large extent, organizations have migrated to remote working without first implementing appropriate security protocols and procedures. This opened them up to vulnerabilities both internal and from external elements.
In order to minimize these risks, the need to train employees and implement updated security features is of the utmost importance in preventing data theft.
Identify the problem areas
Organizations that may be vulnerable to data theft need to identify problem areas and respond to them. The most common of these are:
- All information must now be stored in the cloud
- No control over devices used to access the cloud
- Have proper backup and recovery systems
- Make sure that you comply with the data protection regulations
Once you’ve identified the areas that apply, quick action is required. Data breaches have cost businesses an average of an estimated $ 3.86 million, and that cost can be ruinous, both financially and politically.
Start with passwords
Your first security measure for devices and cloud storage is always passwords. These must be clear and correspondingly complex, since a hacker only needs a few seconds to crack a five or six-digit password.
The longer a password, the more difficult it is to crack. The more variables that are added with each new character, the more sequences a hacker or cracking software must execute. Using a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters in a random configuration is recommended when creating passwords.
You also need to change your passwords regularly. Yes, this is time consuming and can result in staff writing down every version, which is not ideal for security reasons. However, by forcing the use of a password manager, you can reduce this nuisance and security threat.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) is fast becoming the standard for internet security. With VPNs, which are essentially a private, encrypted digital tunnel, you can work remotely on almost any Wi-Fi connection – including an unsecured one – without compromising your company’s secure data.
This means that every single one of your employees who work from home is also secure with their home connections.
A VPN creates a secondary network for you once you’ve connected to the internet. This second network is unique to your device and masks your online activities from anyone else using the same Internet connection as you. A hacker has to work harder to see what you are doing, and it can often seem daunting.
Even without COVID-19 and remote work, you should have a VPN that employees can use when they leave the site.
Implement multi-factor authentication
The more layers you can add to a platform or system, the harder it is to penetrate. Passwords are always your first point of contact and should never be neglected. After that, you can opt for various secondary security options, such as: B. Eye scanners, face recognition, fingerprint scanners, disposable pens and two-factor verification.
At least two-factor verification should be implemented for everyone in your company with access to sensitive data. The more sensitive the information, the more levels of verification you should add.
This means an increase in your IT budget, especially if you choose biometrics. They need devices that can scan fingerprints, the eye, or the face before they allow access.
Another option is to link the software to an app on your employees’ phones. Once they have logged in with their username or password, they need to access an app that makes it easier to recognize faces or fingerprints. Alternatively, they can receive a one-time PIN that must be sent to your system for authentication.
By implementing a secondary authentication factor, you strengthen employee accountability. While one hacker might breach one level of security, it is far more difficult to breach two, especially when using biometrics. Generally, this software creates a log file that stores the date and time it was entered to ensure that the person who gained access is noted and recorded.
Train your employees
The most important step in minimizing data piracy is to make sure employees are taking security measures and understand the severity of a breach. Internet security has become a global concern, and breaches not only cost your company money and potential reputational damage, but can also have legal ramifications. Data regulations regulating the protection of sensitive and confidential information have been introduced almost worldwide. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in massive fines.
It is important to keep employees informed of regulations and protocols that must be followed. Especially when you consider that human error and negligence are two of the vulnerabilities that hackers target in any business.
It is important that you assess brand awareness and ability to judge what is and is not a risk. Regular safety training programs should be part of the operation, and these can also be carried out remotely.
Don’t be shy about starting refresher courses that start from the ground up and focus on online security, phishing emails, and the dangers of using public Wi-Fi. These fundamentals are important, and you can build on them to ensure your business is safe at all levels, regardless of where people are based.
While attacks are difficult to stop completely, their effects can be reduced and prevented wherever possible. A well-informed, well-equipped remote workforce is the best defense against a security breach.