How to Maintain Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

Sometimes we learn the hard way.

While many organizations have long been capable of allowing employees to work remotely, it took a global pandemic to make that possibility a reality. To the surprise of many, remote workers are actually more productive than their counterparts who spend their days in the office. It’s a pleasant surprise for employers who believed the opposite case would be true.

But with more remote employees in the workforce, there’s something else employers should be mindful of: cybersecurity threats. And since you’d probably prefer not to learn this one the hard way, here are four tips on how you can protect your remote employees and your organization.

Tip #1: Train (and Reinforce) Best Practices Among Your Employees

Your employees can be your greatest cybersecurity liability, or they can be your first line of defense. What makes the difference? The way that you train them.

As with any other behavior, process, or practice, you can’t necessarily expect that your employees will already know what they should do or how they should do it when it comes to cybersecurity. Things can be especially fraught with remote workers, who may begin to feel a little too comfortable surfing the web on their company laptop. Conversely, remote workers who use personal computers for company business may accidentally create vulnerabilities.

What email clients (applications for accessing email) do you allow? How do your people share files? Are they allowed to use external drives? If you don’t have policies in place, or if you don’t train your people on what those policies are, they’ll make their own choices. That could put both them and your business at risk.

Tip #2: Create a Culture of Safety Throughout Your Organization

If your employees have questions about cybersecurity, how comfortable are they with asking? Do they know what their resources are? And what if they learn that a coworker is doing something potentially dangerous—is there a clear avenue for them to help correct the behavior?

When we talk about culture, we’re really talking about intangible practices and norms that go beyond simple training. Those can be very positive things that align employees with your company goals. But there are also harmful company cultures that perpetuate fear in the workplace. That can be very dangerous, especially at a time when many employees are working remote and may be more likely to disengage if a culture is toxic.

Workers who are afraid to ask questions or don’t feel they can admit a mistake are less likely to report a cybersecurity incident. Critical time may be lost, and what could have been a minor problem can quickly grow into a major breach. When you foster a culture of safety, built around good cybersecurity practices and mutual trust, it goes a long way toward protecting your business.

Tip #3: Work with an Expert Cybersecurity Partner

Chances are your organization is not solely focused on cybersecurity. You have your own goals to achieve, and that’s where you want to invest your time and resources. So how can you stay focused on your core mission while protecting yourself from sophisticated threats?

This is where the right partnership will do wonders. When you work with the right cybersecurity vendor, your organization will enjoy the fruits of their expertise. From proactively preparing your organization to anticipate threats to launching a response in the face of an attack, a cybersecurity partner can strengthen your defenses at every level.

That way, you can focus on the work you’ve set out to accomplish while knowing your remote workers are safe.

Tip #4: Be Proactive to Stay Ahead of Cybersecurity Threats

As quickly as technology evolves, it sometimes seems as though cyberattacks evolve even faster. Defenses that might have worked a year ago become obsolete, and new vulnerabilities emerge.

Then again, tried-and-true techniques like phishing are still remarkably effective. That’s why it’s important to take a proactive approach to security. Work with a partner who will stay on the cutting edge of the latest attacks, while proactively installing defenses against common threats. A partner like that can help keep your organization safe while you and your people embrace a whole new way of working.

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