Three Cybersecurity Changes to Make Before Switching to Remote Working

Posted on November 15, 2020 by Nikhil P Naik

Whether you’ve been forced to switch your business to a remote working model due to the coronavirus pandemic or are considering giving employees more freedom to work from home thanks to the many clear benefits that it provides for both parties, one of your main concerns should be cybersecurity. Work-from-home employees are often at a higher risk of being targeted in a cyberattack, thanks to home networks, personal devices, and a lack of information and education. Before you shift your employees to working from home, here are some key cybersecurity changes to make

Outsource to an IT Professional

If you’re running a small business, chances are that a huge IT department isn’t in the budget. Hackers know this, which is why small businesses are often much bigger targets these days compared to the big corporations. Cybercriminals are increasingly going after smaller businesses because their security systems are often much easier to get past and there isn’t always a lot in the way of defense. Outsourcing IT to a professional support company like Data Cube Systems allows you to get access to higher-level IT support and security protocols. Rather than trying to do what you can on your own, outsourcing IT gives you access to a level of support and security defense systems that you may not be able to access in-house. 

Provide Employee Training

Much of the training provided around working from home will revolve around instructing employees on factors such as their conduct and ensuring that they are aware of what’s expected of them during work hours. However, cybersecurity training should take center stage before allowing any employees to start working from home. Make sure that every remote employee is fully aware of: the importance of securing their home network; using strong antivirus software and firewalls on any personal devices that they plan to use for work; using strong passwords that are never shared with anybody else; and how to quickly spot a suspected phishing attack. 

Encourage Communication

Working from home can get very lonely and when it comes to cybersecurity, the lack of colleagues and managers in the immediate area can begin to pose a risk for employees. An employee might notice something, but since nobody’s there to talk to about it, it may never get mentioned to somebody else. It’s important to develop a strong communication culture when you make the switch to having employees working from home. Encourage employees to use communication channels like Slack or Zoom on a regular basis, rather than just when there’s a meeting. Arrange regular meetings solely for the purpose of cybersecurity, where employees can feel free to ask questions, voice their concerns, or bring up anything suspicious that they might have noticed. Remember that the early signs of a cyberattack might not always look that obvious, so ensure that employees feel safe to go with their gut and report anything that doesn’t seem right. 

Working from home is set to become more popular, even after the pandemic. If you’re switching to remote working, cybersecurity should be one of the most important factors to focus on.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Senior Software Engineer at Discover. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music and travelling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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