How do you manage cyber security with remote employees?

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cyber security is a $60 billion industry, and it keeps increasing year after year. Most companies take extreme precautions to protect themselves and their employees’ sensitive data. But when you combine the rise of remote work in the last decade with the global pandemic, it throws a real monkey wrench into an otherwise well-oiled machine.

According to Statista, data breaches They cost an average of $8.6 million within the US (where they’re most frequent and also the most expensive) – enough to bring your business to a grinding halt. So, how do you keep your proprietary and private information safe? We’ll find out, but first, why are remote companies more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats and breaches?

  • Unsecured Wi-Fi. When remote workers work from anywhere, they actually work from anywhere, it can mean a work together A place with secure Wi-Fi, but it can also mean a coffee shop, airport, or gym. Any time your company’s data is accessed on one of these networks, it is at risk.
  • personal hardware. It is possible that you may have provided your employees with company-owned laptops and secure server access, but it is equally possible that they may be doing at least some (if not all) of their work from their personal devices. It also means that a personal laptop, which is more likely to be unlocked and left in the open, could be compromised.
  • insufficient training. If your remote workers haven’t gone through cybersecurity training, add it to your to-do list, stat. Go VPN, authorized use of personal devices, password management and data encryption.

According to business tech weeklyOf these, 81% of CIOs said their company was the victim of a Wi-Fi-related security breach in the past year (62% of them originated from cafes or coffee shops). So how do you keep your remote team from becoming a statistic?

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Create a Cyber ​​Security Response Plan

A weak password can be all that stands between your remote company and a serious cyber breach. That’s why it is important to have a cyber security response plan. Your plan should include, at a minimum, all the basic information from your cybersecurity training, as well as how to identify scams and phishing attempts, and what employees should do if a breach is suspected.

Make sure your action plan is comprehensive, shared across the organization and quickly accessible when needed. Establish a cyber security “chain of command” so that employees know where to turn if they are involved in a cyber security incident.

Adopt a password management system

What do your anniversaries, your mother’s maiden names, and your children’s birthdays all have in common? Those are all terrible passwords. And yet, they are some of the most commonly used. Instead of leaving it to employees, implement a password management system that will ensure that your team has access to the software, tools, and resources needed while keeping your information secure. In addition to the password management system, remind your employees when choosing a password:

  • Use the system’s recommended password or choose a password that is unique and does not contain known personal information
  • Avoid using the same password on more than one platform
  • change password regularly

RELATED: How to Protect Your Company from Cyber ​​Attacks

Use multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires verification from your employees to access sensitive or restricted information. Essentially, they have to provide proof that they are who they say they are. Types of MFAs include:

  • PIN or verification code (often sent via SMS)
  • Safety Questions
  • Real-time access request (Authorized user approves access when requested)
  • Biometrics, including fingerprint, retinal or face scans
  • Hardware such as key fobs or badges that must be scanned before secure information can be accessed

MFA is rapidly evolving and ushering in new technologies, so make sure you work with a trusted professional to choose the type of multi-factor authentication for your remote team.

Make common sense a little more general

Hiring a cybersecurity pro can be costly (although it is a worthwhile investment), but there are small steps that every remote employee should and should be able to take, especially if you need to make sure you are safe when you are in cyber security. Your data remains safe when you apply a security plan. From now on, make sure each remote worker does the following:

  • Make sure personal laptops are password protected and that they are never left unattended and uncovered
  • turn on your firewall
  • enable encrypted backup
  • Use a secure Internet connection when working in a public place, or if that’s not possible, use a VPN

Whether you are new to managing a remote team or a seasoned pro, the need for increased cyber security is ever-increasing. And when your employees are working from home, traveling or working from remote locations, a small chime in the armor can result in a fatal blow. Keep the above tips in mind when creating your cybersecurity response plan and make sure your employees — and your company’s most sensitive information — are consistently protected.