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The Alternative Board Blog

Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workers

Apr. 17, 2024 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
Audio Narration of Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workers
4:00

 

As remote work becomes increasingly popular among employers, it’s important to remember that the use of cybersecurity protocols extends far beyond the workplace.

Hackers and other digital bad actors don’t particularly care whether an employee is hard at work in the office or completing his or her work assignments in a remote setting. All they care about is breaching the secure walls a company has established and making life miserable for all involved.

That’s why your remote team needs to be fully on board and up-to-date when it comes to cybersecurity. Here are valuable tips for business leaders and remote workers to keep in mind:

 

Be professional.

Working from home or another remote setting isn’t an invitation to relax cybersecurity measures.

As an employer, it’s up to you to make sure remote workers “maintain the same level of professionalism regarding secure and sensitive data as they do in the office,” notes Business News Daily. Remote workers must understand that “personal email is not to be used in an official capacity” and that sensitive physical documents “must either be disposed of properly with a shredder or set aside to be shredded later.”

 

Beware of phishing attacks.

Remote workers often depend upon email to stay in touch with their employers. This leaves them prey to potential phishing attacks, “which aim to deceive employees into revealing sensitive data such as passwords or credit card information,” notes Infosecurity. And since ransomware (attacks growing out of phishing attempts) “pose a significant financial and reputational risk” to small businesses, so everyone “must prioritize cybersecurity best practices.”

When it comes to emails, remote workers should always check for:

  • “Peculiar” email addresses
  • Lapses in grammar or wording
  • Wording that implies “urgency” in clicking on a link

Businesses need to train employees, wherever they’re located, to be more mindful about dangers lurking in their email boxes.

 

Observe strict password, encryption, and access policies.

Creating strong passwords is essential for all employees. These passwords should be at least 16 characters, with a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. This should always be combined with multi-factor authentication—that is, taking at least one additional step after entering a password.

Encryption is another key element in maintaining cybersecurity. According to Forcepoint, data encryption “is a security method where information is encoded and can only be accessed or decrypted by a user with the correct encryption key,” which otherwise “appears scrambled or unreadable to a person or entity accessing without permission.”

Perhaps most importantly, businesses should carefully control who among their remote employees should have access to the company’s network. If you can’t make a strong case for a particular individual to gain permission to see sensitive business data, that individual should not be able to access information without authorization.

In the same respect, offsite employees should be reminded that “working from home means company computers are more likely to be exposed to young children” and other family members, notes Kaspersky. Ensure that remote workers “do not allow other household members to access their work laptops, mobiles, and other forms of hardware.”

 

Update and educate.

Just as with on-site employees, remote workers should be included in any network security update. Encourage your remote team to regularly download approved anti-virus software and/or other upgrades aimed at maintaining strict security of business information.

In the same respect, cybersecurity training and education should extend to remote workers. As new phishing and other hacker threats emerge, it’s vital that an organization’s IT department make training available that helps all users recognize threats and take action to avert them.

 

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Written by Lee Polevoi

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