6 Tips to protect your data when working from home
Business data security in the work from home era
Most companies have had to deal with staff working from home and keeping them and their company data safe and secure over the last year. But how to protect your data when working from home? This has become a priority, and we are always talking about it.
With the move to remote working over the course of the pandemic, more focus on security is essential. This applies to businesses of all sizes.
Security of files, data, and servers is a huge concern when working remotely. Working from home means potential risk factors from unsecured devices such as your personal laptop or tablets. In addition Wi-Fi connections because these devices and networks may not be as secure as your workplace ones.
In fact, a study revealed that 20% of security breaches in organizations were a result of a remote worker. That's why working remotely has many advantages, including public safety in this Covid-19 era, but it requires vigilance to protect your data.
You need to make sure that your data is safe and your devices are resilient to cyber threats. A network firewall is important to prevent unauthorised access and prevent hackers from getting through. Your router, and personal devices you use at home is highly unlikely to have a firewall, and that means your data is less secure.
So, what can you do to make your data safe while working remotely?
6 ways to protect your data when working from home
1. Install high level security
The smartest way to protect your data when working from home is by installing high-level security software. It will protect your workstations against malware attacks and harmful spyware. Use a firewall to alert you to any intrusion attempts. Install anti-virus software and anti-spyware package to provide real time protection by blocking threats from all incoming information.
You can set up two- factor authentication or multi-factor authentication for additional security. Don’t just rely on passwords. Explore security tools you install, and learn how to use them properly.
2. Keep system and apps updated remotely
Software updates are important to prevent data breaches, among other benefits. Your system and apps, if not updated regularly they’ll become ineffective and insecure. Encourage your team members to upgrade their software to the latest version so they can utilise its new features and functionalities.
Updates also include security fixes that prevent cyber criminals to enter and exploit your customers data. Activate automatic updating too so you’ll always be reminded and won’t miss any updates.
3. Train your employees on basic cybersecurity principles and practices
Training your employees on basic cybersecurity principles and practices is essential in keeping your data safe.
- Educate them about phishing scams.
- Train them to evaluate emails they receive and not to click on suspicious links.
- Inform them on how to secure their system, install and update antivirus regularly.
- Provide them with relevant information and other safety protocols they need to follow.
Human error is one of the most common reasons cyber criminals enter your network and steal all valuable information. In fact, 95% of security breaches are caused by human error.
Teaching your employees to be vigilant and understand security protocols will help them to protect your data when working from home.
4. Use a secure VPN to protect your data
Network (VPN) provides an extra layer of security between your core system and externally, like hiding the user’s IP address, encrypts data transfers, and masks the user’s location. VPN uses encryption to scramble data making it unreadable when it’s sent over a Wi-Fi network.
It also adds privacy to both private and public networks that you have at home. Your organisation should have enough VPN licenses and bandwidth to accommodate all employees and users.
5. Set secure passwords
Another great way to protect your data when working from home is using a strong password on all your devices. Your password should be a combination of letters both upper and lower cases, numbers and symbols, or special characters.
Don’t use common words or something that is related to you or your company. Run a password audit and make sure yours and your employees passwords are reset and redefined in line with your company’s security policy.
Never share your passwords to anyone, even your workmates. Don’t store or save it on your notes or word docs as well, try using a password manager to help you create strong passwords and remember them. Passwords managers can manage all your passwords for each website you use. Set a reminder to reset and change your passwords regularly. And don’t reuse old passwords.
6. Always backup your data
It sounds simple enough, but we all know that people don't do this as often as they should. If you are running a business it can be devastating. It is important to ensure that all your data is safe, and it should be a mandatory requirement that all your employees use available resources to secure all data.
Backup your data regularly to prevent data loss if your system crashes or your hard drive fails to work. You can use cloud or offsite storage to store and secure your data. Employees can use external drives too.
When there’s backup, data loss won’t hinder your employees' productivity and reduce time wasted. And in the event a cyber criminal attacks your system, you’ll have a peace of mind knowing that your company data is safe.
Issues surrounding data security will be out of your hands once your employees work remotely. Once you have the data precautions discussed above in place inform your customers that you and your team are doing the best you can to protect their data.
Follow these practices to keep your business data and systems secure even when you’re working remotely. Keep in mind that your customers will trust you more if they know that they can trust your company or organisation even in different circumstances. There are a lot of solutions in the market that will help you and your team lessen the risks of cyber attacks when working remotely. Just be patient and evaluate what solutions will best work for you, your team, and your company!
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