The gig economy valued at $3.7 trillion, is booming. Companies have increasingly adopted remote working models over the last few years. The advent of coronavirus accelerated this model’s adoption, but it was already in play.
Working at home allows employees to be more productive. They’re able to achieve a better work-life balance and steer clear of work’s distractions. In the cyber age, it’s never been simpler to work remotely.
The downside is that working from home might mean working from less secure networks. In this post, we’ll look at some quick checks you might make to ensure that your company’s data is protected in and out of the office.
Start With the Router
If the computer is the link to the information highway, the router is the gatekeeper that keeps the connection safe. How safe depends on how secure the router is. Ideally, your employees should use a dedicated network for work purposes only.
Where that isn’t possible, run through the following checklist with employees to ensure maximum security:
- How old is the router? Older routers may not be a match for sophisticated hacking techniques. The router should support WPA2 wireless protocols at the minimum.
- Is the router software up to date? Ideally, router software should be set to update automatically. Employees must ensure that this option is enabled.
- How secure is the password? Are your employees using the ISP’s default password? If so, it’s time to change it to something stronger.
Now Look at the Network
It’s time to move onto network security. Employees should consider the following precautions:
- Using a VPN: The security of public wireless networks has improved, but it’s still wise to take precautions. Using a VPN while on a public network keeps your data safe from prying eyes.
- Setting up a guest network for work: Wireless networks connect several devices in the home. These might include laptops, phones, tablets, and smart devices, or devices that guests bring in. Setting up a separate guest network for work keeps work devices private.
- Don’t give others this password: The employee should be the only one with the guest network’s access details.
Watch for Physical Security
Physical security deals with the protocols for work devices. Ensure that:
- You back up and encrypt all data: If someone steals the device, the encryption protects the data. Follow through by remotely wiping the laptop. The backups assist in recovery.
- Screens Auto-Lock: This prevents other people from looking at the information on the system. Employees should get into the habit of locking the screen if they leave the device unattended.
Wrapping It Up
Vigilance and a multi-pronged defense strategy are your company’s best protection against cybercrime. Considering the high costs of recovering from a breach, a little planning and effort upfront are well worthwhile.
Taking the steps outlined above makes for a good start. Bring home the effort by ensuring that your employees practice good cybersecurity hygiene as well.