Can My Employees Work Remotely And Still Maintain Optimal Data Security?

The workforce in America has gone remote! Workers more than ever want the ability to work from their own devices and from alternative locations. This type of flexibility helps people to be more productive and offers better job satisfaction. It’s good for employees and it’s good for employers. While all this sounds amazing, there are some real pitfalls to avoid. The major one of those is security.

With so many employees running around all over the place, working from a laptop or smartphone, how can you be sure that your data is completely secure? Your data should be protected by a range of industry-leading security solutions, best practices and expert cybersecurity personnel. And, if you must comply with state or government regulations, the right IT security solutions will ensure your technology and your users are in full compliance.

If your business has decided to allow workers to use their own devices, then you need a strong layer of security for peace of mind and to avoid hefty fines that can arise from data breaches. Below are just a few of the things to think about if a breach occurs.

What Do I Have To Do If There’s A Breach?

You must disclose the breach to those affected. The following information should be shared:

  • The data and nature of the breach and what specific data are at risk
  • What your organization has done to reduce risk and harm
  • How those affected can reduce their risk after the breach
  • Information about the organization’s contact information
  • The procedure for filing complaints

Do The Benefits Outweigh The Risks?

The benefits of remote working for businesses are undoubtedly clear. Remote working provides employees with greater flexibility (so they can work how they want), it saves space in the office, and it can even help to reduce costs. Most business owners are surprised by how much more work their employees get done. Plus, you don’t need to provide workspace, electricity, a break room etc. for those employees who are working from home (or some other location).

Many experts believe that the future of business is remote workers and this trend has exploded over the last few years. It even includes employers hiring freelancers as opposed to regular employees. This provides a number of benefits as well. You won’t have to give free-lance employees insurance, benefits, paid vacations, sick leave, training—and so much more. The benefits do seem to outweigh the risks in every way.

But then, there’s that one careless person who loses their laptop at a coffee shop and suddenly, all your data is at risk. You could even be headed for a massive data breach that costs thousands of dollars. Your business reputation could be at risk. That’s why industry experts recommend working with a professional managed IT service provider. They can set up remote workers so that there’s little or no risk to your organization. You get all the benefits of remote workers with none of the risks.

There are a few easy things you can do as a business owner to make sure that your data remains protected from cyber thieves. We go over some of those below:

Practice Better Password Management

In spite of all the warnings, people still use simple passwords that are easy to crack. There are websites where you can type in your password and see how long it takes to crack it using brute force methods. The average password takes no more than a couple of minutes to crack. There’s just no excuse for weak passwords.

Long, random passwords are almost impossible to crack. And it’s not that hard to do if you use a password manager like LastPass. You don’t even have to remember the passwords. The app does everything for you. This will greatly improve overall security for everyone.

Ensure Docs Are Hosted Securely

SharePoint and OneDrive are great tools for allowing employees access to business documents in a secure fashion. These are both hosted in the cloud so there’s a high level of security built in no matter what device or location.

Good Employee Training

Educate your employees about keeping their devices secure when they’re out in public. A little training goes a long way. Sometimes people just have to be reminded –that’s all it takes. You can’t lay your phone down on the table at a restaurant or bar and look away for a moment. When you look back, the device will be gone. Thieves work just that fast these days. You can’t leave your laptop unattended in any public place. It’s not safe!

What Can You Do?

There are lots of programs and apps available today to track phones and laptops. If you’re not working with a good managed IT service provider, then you might want to consider using an asset tracking. This works by attaching barcodes to physical devices and then scanning them into a program that keeps track of where each one is. Though this can work for many businesses, it does bring up some privacy issues for your employees.

What About Encryption?

Email encryption utilizes public-key cryptography. When you send an email, it’s encrypted by the computer using the public key. This transforms the email into complex, scrambled content that’s difficult to hack. Only someone with the proper corresponding private key can decrypt the email and read it. Though encryption cannot stop a thief from stealing something either in real life or online, it does prevent the thief from being able to read the contents of the document.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Despite all the efforts devoted to cyber security, the public is still extremely vulnerable. In years to come, security experts may find ways to stop the onslaught of data breaches around the world, but today, the best course of action is to find a great managed IT service provider in your area and let them hook you up with the best security solutions for your business needs.

An IT environment that’s monitored and managed by IT professionals promotes security. The right IT provider will close the gaps in your security and keep your technology up and running. They’ll ensure that your confidential information remains private. Even if a user loses their laptop or their phone is stolen, your data will still remain protected.

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