How to Keep Your Remote Workforce Secure: Cybersecurity Tips

Human error is the number one cybersecurity threat to your systems networks.  And with an increase in remote workers, it's more important than ever to ensure your workforce is adequately trained in cybersecurity best practices.

 

Successful cybersecurity attacks are costly. Here are five key areas to focus on to keep your remote workforce significantly more secure:

 

  1. Workforce Cybersecurity Training
  2. Password Generation
  3. Device Encryption
  4. VPNs
  5. Antivirus software

Workforce Cybersecurity Training

With remote work on the rise, it's imperative that your employees are up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity threats and how to avoid them. Regular training on topics like phishing, password security, and data encryption will help reduce the risk of a successful attack.

 

It's easy to become more relaxed while working remotely regarding securing data and systems. Morning announcements might not happen regularly or at all, so it's essential to send out regular reminders about the importance of cybersecurity. Create a calendar reminder for yourself to send out monthly or quarterly training emails, and include links to helpful resources.

 

Here are a few cybersecurity training topics for your remote workforce:

 

  • Password manager tool walkthrough and best practices
  • How to spot phishing emails and fake websites
  • How and why to use two-factor authentication whenever possible
  • How to encrypt sensitive data before sending it electronically

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Password Generation

Your employees are your first line of defense against a data breach, so training them on how to create and use strong passwords is vital. You can do this by requiring all employees to use a password manager to generate and store long, unique passwords for each of their online accounts.

 

Proper password management is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce the risk of a data breach. So, regular training sessions on best practices for creating and storing passwords are highly recommended.

 

Here are three affordable recommended options:

 

  • LastPass
  • 1Password
  • KeePass

 

LastPass is a popular password-generation service that helps employees create and store strong passwords. It is available as a desktop app, a browser extension, and a mobile app. LastPass can be used to generate passwords for any website or app, and it also includes a built-in password manager to store all of your other login information. Plus, it syncs across all your devices so that you can access your passwords anywhere.

 

1Password is another password manager that helps you create and store strong passwords. It also provides features like two-factor authentication and password sharing. 1Password uses 'vaults' to store login credentials, credit card information and other sensitive data. You can think of the vaults almost as folders on your desktop. It makes it easier to organize and track which passwords are where.

 

KeePass is a free, open-source program that can be installed on your computer or phone. It generates passwords that are difficult to guess, and it stores them in an encrypted file. You can also use KeePass to create secure notes and simple documents. It officially supports macOS and Linux operating systems through the use of Mono. Additionally, several unofficial ports exist for Windows Phone, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry devices.

Device Encryption

Another way to reduce the risk of data breaches is to encrypt devices that contain sensitive information. Laptops, smartphones, and other devices can be encrypted using software readily available from various vendors. That said, we tend to focus more on encryptions for our servers, desktops, and laptops. Most companies and consumers ignore securing their mobile devices.

 

Humans have evolved into an on-the-go culture. So, we often send files and information through mobile devices. The University of Oxford states protecting your mobile devices is just as important as your laptop or computer. Android and iOS have services that allow you to encrypt the data on your device and ensure that your data is secure.1 Cybercriminals know that mobile devices are more vulnerable, so they often focus their attacks there.

 

In short, make sure that you create a mobile device security strategy that educates all employees on what they need to do to minimize cybersecurity risks on mobile devices. This way, everyone is on the same page, staying vigilant against threats and achieving compliance. 

 

Virtual Private Networks (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates an encrypted connection between your computer and the internet, making it more difficult for hackers to steal your data. A VPN can also be used to access company resources remotely, such as email or files stored on a server. Many companies provide VPN software for their employees, or you can use a third-party VPN service, such as ExpressVPN or CyberGhost.

 

If you are using a public WiFi connection, it is vital to use a VPN to protect your data. Hackers can set up fake WiFi networks in public places and wait for unsuspecting victims to connect. Once connected, they can intercept data or even inject malware onto your device.

Antivirus Software

Last but not least,  robust antivirus software is a must for any remote worker. This software will help to protect your device from any malicious software that could be used to gain access to your system or company data. 

 

Many different antivirus programs are available, so be sure to choose one that fits your needs and budget. Many companies enlist the help of cybersecurity consultants to help them choose the best tools based on their needs and to build processes and protocols that keep the company's and employees' data safe.

 

When it comes to security, there are many factors to consider. However, by following the tips above, you can help to keep your remote workforce secure. Workforce cybersecurity training, password generation, device encryption, a virtual private network (VPN), and antivirus software are all essential aspects that should be utilized to maintain a secure remote working environment.

 

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 1 "Disk Encryption | Information Security Team - University of Oxford." https://www.infosec.ox.ac.uk/encryption. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.