Remote Workers Must Play by Office Rules for Cybersecurity
Tell your employees 15 years ago that it would be perfectly acceptable in 2019 not to get dressed for work, sit in your pajamas, and do your job from a home computer, and they’d likely ask you where the nearest time machine is.
Remote work is not for everyone, but it’s a powerful part of millions of people’s work-life balance in the modern corporate environment. With so many different types of devices connected to the Internet and so much communication transferred from face-to-face and phone calls to emails, Skype, instant messenger, and Facetime, it’s easy to see why remote work is thriving across nearly every industry and niche there is.
But with all that ease of access and convenience that helps your employees manage things like kids and doctors’ appointments and helping take care of relatives. It’s even better for contract workers or freelancers your company might hire. You don’t have to worry about finding space in a small office to set up another workstation for them when they can do their tasks remotely without needing anything other than an Internet connection and some way to communicate with you.
The Trouble with Going Remote
While it is super convenient to have a contract, freelance, or full-time employees working remotely, the tradeoff is significant. First and foremost, you’re most likely letting them work from a computer that is their personal property, not that of the company. You have no idea what sort of antivirus software (if any) they are employing, nor do you know if their computer is already potentially infected as it gets ready to communicate to your networks, servers, and employees. That’s a rather large problem because the last thing you need is your system to get infected from the outside. The whole point of using quality antivirus software is to protect your system from all the harmful things lurking around the Internet on a daily basis. Therefore, when an employee or contractor is remote, here are some practices to keep everyone safe.
Use Company Hardware/Software if Possible
If your employees are full time, try to provide them with laptops or other devices that they can use remotely that are already checked out by your IT department and uploaded with the latest versions of your antivirus program of choice as well as the latest versions of your software. This greatly reduces the risk of foreign machines infecting yours.
Makes Passcodes and Passwords Mandatory on Company Machines
People working remotely are that much more likely to lose or misplace a company laptop, tablet, or smartphone. If those devices are not protected or don’t have passwords, a hacker can expose everything on them in minutes. If they are protected, your IT department should be able to shut them down before any damage is done.
Use Single Sign-On and Two-Factor Authentication
A single sign-on means your remote employees don’t have to remember another username and password for every software program they are trying to access remotely. Two-factor authentication allows you to double up on your security protocol by requiring anyone entering a password to then recover a code from their phone or some other device in order to gain access.