Working from Home: 5 Data Policies to Implement
Many businesses have implemented procedures to allow employees to work from home over the past few years. While this has been beneficial in keeping companies operating, it has also created an entirely new problem regarding cybersecurity.
Not every company was as rigorous as it should have been regarding securing their employees’ remote workstations. The international police agency Interpol noticed a dramatic upswing in cyberattacks against companies using work-from-home employees last year. So what can you do to protect your company?
5 Data Policies to Implement Right Away for Remote Employees
Let’s look at some simple steps you can start using immediately:
1. Threat Identification
Train your employees on how to identify possible scams. Phishing and business email compromise (BEC) attacks can come at any time. Have them check email addresses to see if they’re legitimate and never open suspicious attachments.
If they’re in doubt whether an email came from who it claims to be from, have them call the person first. Make sure they never give usernames or passwords to unfamiliar people or send them through email or texts.
2. Keeping Track of Devices
More than likely, your employees are using laptops, tablets, and cell phones to conduct business remotely. This situation is all well and good, but laptops have a 1 in 10 chance of being stolen, and 98% are never recovered.
This statistic means your employees need to be extra vigilant to prevent theft. Make sure they never leave mobile devices in cars or unattended in public places. Thieves can be watching and waiting.
3. Using Strong Passwords
If your employees are still using “password123,” then it’s time to create new passwords. Have them update their passwords regularly, too. It may be a hassle, but it prevents data theft!
Password updates aren’t just for company software and computers, either. Routers and WiFi networks need strong passwords, too. Above all, don’t let employees have their browsers remember their username and passwords! If their device is stolen, thieves have instant access.
4. Not Mixing Work and Play
Work devices are for work. Don’t let employees watch Netflix or play online games on their workstations. Conversely, don’t let them access work sites or software from their personal computers. There’s no guarantee that their devices have the robust security required to withstand a cyberattack.
5. Disposing of Sensitive Data Properly
Once it’s time to upgrade a remote workstation or work phone, the old one needs to be destroyed, as do any documents printed at home. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as throwing them in the trash.
Thieves can rummage through garbage to find improperly tossed devices and paperwork to steal important data. Instead, hire a shredding company to ensure that all hard disk drives, solid-state drives, and documents are eliminated.
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