For many businesses, work from home has moved from temporary to permanent. With the benefits of remote work- increased team productivity, lower overhead costs, increased flexibility, etc. it is a great option for businesses. However, if you are thinking about permanently adopting a remote work model, you need to reexamine the interim technology solutions you implemented at the beginning of WFH. These interim measures may have worked initially, but don’t have the legs to support a full organizational shift to remote.
In addition to expanding your security solution to cover WFH environments, you need to rework your employee’s privacy and security policies to be relevant to their new office spaces. We put together some steps to craft robust WFH security policies. If you are considering going fully remote or you already have, give us a call and we can help ensure your business stays safe.
What to include in your WFH Cybersecurity Policy
1. Outline how employees should access company information
Depending on how you store your information you may want to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for your employees or have your data accessible in the cloud. A VPN uses encryption to create a “tunnel” for any interactions between your employees and your secure corporate network, protecting the information from outsiders. Having all your information in the cloud allows your employees to safely access it wherever they are. Regardless of how your employees access your information having it stored securely and backed up regularly is important.
2. Schedule periodic security tests
One of the most overlooked steps to securing your network is testing it. Work into your policy regularly scheduled network tests to identify any vulnerabilities and weaknesses. When you first transition to remote work, you will be blind to any weak spots, and you might not even know that you had a data breach.
3. Make employee cybersecurity training mandatory
Once you have done all the work to create protocols to keep your business secure, you need to make sure your employees understand how to follow them and the risks if they don’t. It’s vital to invest in employee training to ensure that everybody knows how to avoid hacking attacks and is not afraid to report security incidents. This training should be ongoing, with multiple reminders and refreshers throughout the year.
4. Define role-based user permissions
Access controls are a proactive layer of security for your network. Forgetting who can access which platforms, data, and tools means losing control of your security. Outline in your policy that accesses will be given to specific users based on their responsibilities and authority levels. By monitoring and strategically restricting access, you can further reduce the risk of human error exposing your information.
5. Define which endpoints should be allowed to access company data
If you aren’t utilizing VPNs (or even if you are), you should define which types of devices can access company information. If the device isn’t owned or outfitted by the company, you can’t control its level of protection. Although it can seem challenging to secure endpoints when employees are working remotely, it is possible. You can partner with a technology professional like us or leverage your internal IT team to place security and monitoring software on remote devices.