Because remote work has increased since 2020, people have enhanced their work-life balance while also gaining more flexibility and increasing productivity rates. A recent survey revealed that about 70% of respondents were working remotely, and 50% expected the move to remote work to persist for at least six months.
Whether your employees are fully remote or rely on a hybrid model, remote work security is crucial. Rigorous cybersecurity measures must be put in place to protect your employees and your internal operations. When you rely on Optimal IdM, you can trust that we mitigate security risks through automated processes while adapting our cloud system to work with complex problems that arise via cost-effective solutions.
Common Work From Home Security Concerns
Companies can employ several different types of workers, including fully remote, hybrid and office workers, as well as those who travel overseas or cross country. Unless they are on-site and under a single roof, it’s difficult to manage employee security.
Common employee IT security issues include:
Even if you take the correct measures in securing your remote network, weak passwords are an easy target for cybercriminals. Compromised passwords are one of the top work from home security breaches. Make sure your employees use difficult passwords, change them often and don’t repeat them for different logins, especially with both personal and work devices.
Unless your employees use a virtual private network (VPN) connection, they should not be accessing unknown WiFi networks. Awareness of unsecured networks is especially important in public spaces like hotels, coffee shops and airports. When they access corporate accounts without a secure WiFi, attackers can collect confidential information.
It’s a smart move to encrypt information that’s in transit between you and your employees aside from just what’s stored on your network. Private data that includes everything from client information to secure corporate files must be protected while sharing across teams.
Whether you allow it or not, many people do in fact use their personal devices for work, which creates a whole slew of work from home security risks. Transferring files between work computers and personal devices is not uncommon, as well as having messaging apps linked to phones. Several issues with personal devices include not keeping software up-to-date and employees leaving the company and still having access to confidential information.
While we focus on cyber security, physical security is just as important. Leaving a laptop open unattended in a public space or talking too loudly can result in a security breach. Remind your employees to lock computers when unattended, take devices with them in unsecure areas and speak in a private area when on calls.
Opening email scams can unfortunately be a tricky situation. Phishing schemes do well at masking emails as legitimate sources, usually fooling an employee into providing login credentials or other private information that’s used to break into corporate accounts. Email scams have become so “sophisticated” per say by bypassing the scam folder and making it into your inbox.
Without being under an on-site network with firewalls and other layers of security, people who work remotely will be exposed to more risks, which is why work-from-home security concerns should be a priority.
Secure and Don’t Overload Your VPN
You can avoid work-from-home security risks by implementing several tools for both remote and on-site employees, such as:
- Firewall: A firewall blocks unwanted traffic while also monitoring your network traffic to help protect remote endpoints against cyber attacks. This type of security also prevents unauthorized access of the network.
- Multi-factor authentication: This is an additional layer of protection for employee accounts. Sometimes this is in the form of receiving a text message with a code to ensure the correct person is logging into an account. The more layers of security, the better.
- VPN solution: Having a VPN is a critical aspect of security while working remotely. A virtual private network reroutes traffic from someone’s home WiFi or a hotspot through your company’s private network. But be aware to not overload your VPN by relying on a provider with a large server network, changing the VPN location to your location, managing traffic via split tunneling, tracking who’s on the VPN and prioritizing it for certain services.
- Password manager: A password manager helps your teams log in to accounts without having to remember difficult passwords each time.
- Endpoint detection and response (EDR) recommendation:Deploying an EDR helps to prevent leaked data and malware while allowing you to respond to threats and automatically manage deployments and patches of different software.
- Up-to-date devices: Ensure all employees update their devices while you ensure the various software programs also update.
These remote working security tips should help you better safeguard your employees and company from scams and cyber attacks.
Upgrade Your Identity and Access Management
At Optimal IdM, we offer the OptimalCloud, which is a comprehensive identity access management (IAM) system to reduce security risks when users access accounts and materials from around the world. It’s an affordable and scalable access management solution to support your business and remotely working teams. Benefits of the OptimalCloud include:
- Reduced IT costs
- Eliminated deployment barriers
- Completed compliance and audit initiatives
The OptimalCloud also integrates with our virtual identity server (VIS) while providing multi-factor authentication (MFA) and mobile authorization with other features, such as:
- Directory integration
- User management
- Broker mode
- Compliance and reporting
- Single sign-on (SSO)
- Optimal application network
- Deployment scenarios
This security solution supports both small and mid-sized businesses as well as enterprise companies with features to accommodate the needs of each. OptimalCloud can either be a shared platform or hold a private dedicated tenant. It also pre-integrates with thousands of applications to create seamless access.
Mandatory Security Training
You can’t assume everyone knows how to spot an email scam or that they understand a network without a VPN is unsecure. Mandatory security training can help your employees learn about phishing attacks, risky behaviors, unknown links, suspicious documents, and other scams that can keep your business safe.
Move to the Cloud if You Haven’t Already
Cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox and others are preferred ways of sharing secure files with others in your organization. Cloud services also integrate with various management tools and devices so that it’s a seamless process.
Establish a Company-Wide Data Security Policy
Unless you are able to provide all employees with VPNs, the next best thing you can do is set up a work-from-home security policy where you can implement the following:
- Provide actions to take if their account is compromised
- Define remote work positions
- Explain tools and platforms available
Have an accessible guide on what your employees can do if they think there has been a security breach. For example, including how they should report the incident, how to change passwords and who to contact.
Make Sure All Employees Have Access to Secure Internet
Working from home means employees can hook up to home WiFi, phone hotspots and public WiFi like at hotels, cafes, airports, restaurants and others. But without a VPN, you risk cyber attacks on many levels. Therefore, make sure all your employees have access to secure internet through a VPN. If workers aren’t on-site under a secure connection, hold the standard that they must use the company’s virtual private network connection.
Monitor Remote Employee Work Performance
While you may trust your employees to carry out safe practices to ensure security, human error isn’t uncommon. Be transparent with your employees that tracking their remote activity is important to ensure they comply with your security policies. When you notice someone not adhering to security rules and regulations, you can address the issue immediately and correct it for the future. There are many remote monitoring solutions available to help you oversee employee security practices, whether workers are remote or international.
Rely on Optimal IdM for Custom Solutions
We know remote work comes with security risks, but now you have the knowledge and power to guard client information, personal employee data, internal projects and other critical aspects of your company.
Reach out to us online for a free trial of our leading IAM solutions or to receive a free quote. You can also speak with an Optimal IdM expert to see how we can increase the security of your business through our custom solutions.