Currently, work-from-home arrangements are the order of the day for most firms worldwide. That implies that remote workers can now sign in to corporate networks from wherever they are, and cloud-based applications can help them with that as well. On the other hand, flexibility is part of the benefits of working from home.However, as telecommuting becomes standard practice, data security continues to be more of a concern. The reason is that workers are now carrying confidential documents to public locations, and some are even using unsecured Wi-Fi networks. The bottom line here is that remote work brings additional security considerations for firms and their in-house data.
Additionally, susceptibility to data security breaches increases even as workers operate in remote environments. As such, remote employees should do whatever they can to protect company data, which is achievable by prioritizing safe practices. Here are some insights into the responsibilities of employees for protecting employer’s cybersecurity when working from home.
1. Ensuring Antivirus Software and Firewalls Are Up-to-Date
When working from home, your antivirus software and firewalls should be up-to-date on all your devices, including laptops, cell phones, and tablets. If you lose any of these company devices, you should alert the relevant person immediately to wipe out the missing device if there is that provision. That way, you can continue working remotely using your devices while safeguarding office data at the same time.
Additionally, you probably do not have the technical expertise to check whether the antivirus software and firewalls on all your devices are up-to-date. When that is the case, you should alert your employer to install the necessary protections. The other option is engaging the nearby local tech support if your organization is partnering with such a services vendor.
2. Adhering to the Company’s Cybersecurity Policy
As a remote worker, you need to appreciate that protecting office data is a priority. That suggests that you do not need to be in a managerial position or an employee that engages clients directly to start worrying about data security. Since cybersecurity is paramount, you need to review your firm’s cybersecurity policy. Some of the details you will find within the policy touch on;
• The reasoning behind having a cybersecurity policy.
• Security protocols your employer expects you to comply with.
• Details on how your company will offer the support you need to comply.
• A section for signing your commitment to observe the requirements therein.
In that case, you need to take ownership in protecting your employer’s data, and that is only possible by adhering to your firm’s cybersecurity policy.
3. Using Encryption Software
You can protect company data when working from home by using encryption software. Remember that you do not have to lose an office device for company information to find its way into the wrong hands, which eventually exposes your entity to vulnerabilities and data breaches. Hackers employ different techniques when launching an attack. That implies that these cybercriminals can access the information in the devices you are using without stealing them.
For that reason, using encryption software is advisable because it protects company data by ensuring that access to devices is by authorized persons only. Also, the programs you use for sending emails or chatting should utilize end-to-end encryption. For instance, Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office encrypt documents and files that you use and share with coworkers.
4. Securing All Internet Connections
The most common way to expose your organization to a data security breach is using an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Additionally, the liberty to get out of the house often and the temptation to enjoy your favorite hot beverage at the local coffee shop in the company of comrades will always keep beckoning when working from home.
Indeed, working from a home setup can be motivating to the extent that it increases your productivity. The only thing is that if you do not know how to secure office data, remote work will prove a risky affair for your employer. The solution, in this case, is using a virtual private network (VPN) before signing onto public Wi-Fi networks. By doing so, you will encrypt your internet traffic, which will, in turn, safeguard your company’s information.
So, if you want to break the monotony of working for long hours remotely or you need to kill the boredom of isolation due to working from home, and secure company data at the same time, using a VPN will be a wise idea. You also need to understand that not all VPNs are ideal. So, you should use the VPN your organization specifies because it covers all essential factors in addition to endpoint encryption.
5. Reliance on Two-Factor Authentication
Probably, your employer is among those who rely on two-factor authentication for data security management. The approach confirms a user’s identity by requiring a username, password, and another piece of information. That can be a PIN that users receive on their cell phones or an answer to a security question.
Compromising or stealing passwords is possible. Two-factor authentication solves this problem by requiring additional information, which reduces the likelihood of another person having all the necessary details. That makes two-factor authentication an extra security layer worth adopting to protect your employer’s data.
6. Using Strong Passwords
Without a doubt, password safety goes a long way towards safeguarding your company’s information. So, using the same password from program to program or device to device is not an option. Instead, you should consider using a different password for each device to reduce your organization’s chances of becoming a victim of data breaches.
You also need to use strong passwords. One way you can strengthen the passwords you use on company devices is by including letters, numbers, and special characters. It is worth mentioning that a lengthy password with such characteristics is hard to crack and allows you to play the vital role of protecting your employer’s data.
Working from home should not compromise your employer’s information in any way. Becoming responsible by adhering to the cybersecurity insights above, you will protect company devices as well as your organization as a whole. If you need more information on protecting your employer’s cybersecurity when working from home, contact us today!
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