Working remotely from home while drinking coffee wearing your pajamas is definitely a great way of life. Indeed, more and more companies are embracing this way of working.
And why not;
Workers can work from home, organize their own schedules and save large amounts of daily commuting, while companies can reduce the cost of infrastructure by leveraging material and software resources of the workforce.
Why invest in expensive products when your employees already have them? Of course all this is easier in theory than in practice. Since you have no way of knowing how seriously your employees are taking security, you can open a digital pandora's box by letting them process your business data without taking the necessary security measures. Companies obviously need to inform about security best practices if they want to operate in a world without borders.
Since remote work is no longer a privilege for the few, large and small companies have no choice but to adopt it, or they risk losing their competitors. The challenges of working from home are just as difficult. A 2018 remote worker safety survey from iPass found that 52% of companies across America feared their employees have been victims of hacking for the past 12 months. 67% believe that most of the attacks have occurred from Wifi wireless to cafes.
Since work from home is the future, there should be best safety practices. Below we will analyze the most basic.
Create a remote work policy
In addition to clearly identifying how remote workers are expected to behave when working from home, a remote work policy should also list the tools they are allowed to use for remote work. Companies should list the tools they use in their organization to ensure that data is distributed effectively. Remote team members should also use secure internet connections to access company data and avoid public Wi-Fi.
A remote work policy should include elements such as temporary and permanent jobs, reasons for being allowed to work from home such as parental benefits, bad weather, emergencies, geographical distances, etc., as well as best home security practices.
Get a (really) strong password policy
An impressive 81% of all hacks that happen today, are due to weak passwords. Why do people still use weak passwords when their dangers are so obvious? Many people use the same password to log in to multiple accounts or simply select pieces of information that they are more likely to remember. Since these are usually a date, an event or a series of numbers / letters, it is extremely easy to fall into the wrong hands. In this case, "123456" is still the most common password in 2019 with 23,2 million accounts "stored" with it!
You can use a password generation method that follows a unique pattern that only your employees know. This method can be documented in the password policy and employees can be trained in it to ensure compliance when working from home or office.
Separate personal from business data on a user's computer while working from home
No employee will allow a company to dictate how they can use their own devices. It is also unlikely that employees will remember best security practices when browsing Facebook or occasionally browsing the web.
However, you can store work data on remote computers so that it is never affected by personal use. A Virtual Machine can be very useful in this case. The VM is essentially a "software computer" with its own operating system running separately from the user's initial installation.
The hard drive of a computer can also be divided into two parts. Each section can have specific operating systems, applications, and security protocols enabled. The method of sharing a hard drive varies from system to system, so it's best to talk to your IT staff to find the best method to assist remote workers.
Finally, remote employees can also have two different user connections, one for work and one for personal use.
Apply remote scanning and deletion of data for all employees
The problem of best practices for remote work is unfortunately not limited to bad policy. One study found that 86% of companies believe that remote employees increased their chances of data breach. The study also noted that while these companies have emergency plans, but only 35% have a data storage or deletion policy, while 54% of companies have no emergency plans at all.
Simply put, pursuing a policy may not be enough. This means that specific disaster response measures must be included. Most operating systems today have a remote data scanning feature that allows administrators and users to delete their computers from any location. Data can also be selectively removed from certain applications Microsoft in case an employee leaves.
Consider using a VPN for business communications
Virtual private networks encrypt all Internet traffic to and from the devices until deactivated. They create a secure tunnel between a user and a company through the public internet. VPN networks are invaluable for securing data on unsecured networks, stopping all nosy eyes (such as ISPs) from spying on the data being sent and helping your network administrators implement security practices for remote work.
There are two basic types of VPN technologies, depending on your risk limit and requirements. The remote access VPN allows a user to connect to a network from any location and is ideal for allowing remote employees to access the company network. The "Site to Site" VPN encrypts data between two different geographical locations, such as two offices.
A variety of VPN protocols are available to choose from. While PPTP (Point-Point Tunneling Protocols) is the oldest and most advanced technology, OpenVPN is ideal for companies looking for a safer tool.
Unlike PPTP, IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) and SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol), OpenVPN Applies to all systems and can be adapted to your requirements.
Get access to its modern productivity tools in cloud
Having strong security practices is always a good idea. However, with the number of applications out there, enforcing broad organizational policy can become tedious. A smarter way out is to switch to cloud-based productivity applications.
Not only do they facilitate remote operations with job monitoring, scheduling and communications, but as a long-distance productivity factor, they already have some of the best and most up-to-date security practices that make them ideal for remote work.
The problem with security is that although technologies can offer a lot, the last reason is with the user. No level of technological development can prevent data from being compromised if the user simply gives someone else access to it.
Decisions of the moment, of daydreaming and carelessness are all too common when you work from home. Therefore, training and developing good habits are just as important as the safety tools themselves.