One of the key measures to flatten the curve of COVID-19 is social distancing. Ontario has enforced social distancing by limiting the number of people gathering to a maximum of five and closing all non-essential businesses.
That means organizations of all sizes across Ontario have had to instruct their staff to work from home. Thankfully, today’s technology enables many business offices to be successful from any location.
In fact, thanks to advanced technology allowing office workers to fulfil their tasks at home, the number of people who work from home has increased by a staggering 140 percent since 2005 - according to a study from Global Workplace Analytics.
The statistics on working from home show that this type of work has expanded 10 times faster than other areas of the workforce.
Improving your company’s cybersecurity for remote workers
While there are a huge number of benefits that your company can realize from a work-from-home strategy, moving to entirely remote-based work if you’re not prepared can bring a number of challenges for your organization.
If your company had to send employees out of the office to work from home due to COVID-19, it’s likely that you are still trying to overcome some operational, communication and process challenges.
There’s one thing that may not have even crossed your mind and you’ll want to address before it becomes an issue - cybersecurity.
There are a few technologies, processes and types of software that you will need to implement for staff who are working remotely, to ensure that your business is secure from the threat of cybercrime. OT Group lists just some of the ways you can improve work-from-home security here:
1 - Make sure your employees are all using a secure WiFi connection
Most WiFi systems at home are correctly secured these days. However, it’s possible that they aren’t secured probably if employees are working off an older WiFi installation. Insecure connections will allow people in the vicinity of your WiFi to access it and see what you are doing.
If you are in doubt about your, or your employees’, internet connections then you can use a virtual private network (VPN) to secure it. A VPN will secure an internet connection by encrypting your information and protecting your online activity from cybercriminals.
2 - Ask employees to change their router login and password details
The default login and password required to access a WiFi connection are widely known and easy to access. Cybercriminals can easily gain entry to your company’s data by hacking into a remote workers’ WiFi network. If they do, they will be able to see absolutely everything that the remote workers are doing on the internet when they work from home.
Thankfully, avoiding this is an easy fix. Simply encourage your employees that are working from home to change their router login details from the default password it came with. Changing this on a regular basis will add an additional layer of security.
3 - Download antivirus software
In the office, your company probably has powerful antivirus software installed on each system to ensure your devices are protected from cybercrime. It’s unlikely that your remote workers will have this software installed on their personal desktops or laptops.
If your employees took their work computers home, then that’s perfect - you don’t have to worry about this. If they are using personal computers when working from home, however, you should ensure they have effective antivirus software installed on those devices.
We can provide recommendations to help you find the best solution. Just remember, any device that handles corporate data should have antivirus software installed on it.
4 - Provide employees with a password manager
Password managers, which are powerfully encrypted applications that generate and store unique passwords for each website an employee visits, are a fantastic way to offer your company greater security and convenience.
LastPass, for example, is a widely regarded secure platform that manages login credentials across your organization while improving your security measures at the same time. OT Group is a LastPass partner and can help you through the process of implementing the service.
5 - Remind your staff to backup their data periodically
Just as you would in the office, it’s an important best practice to encourage all of your remote employees to backup important files and data regularly. Backups are an essential part of any ransomware disaster plan, and that doesn’t change just because your employees aren’t in the office.
In the worst-case scenario, it’s possible that your employees could fall foul of a ransomware attack. If they haven’t been performing regular backups of their data, then the cybercriminal will have complete leverage over your organization.
BackBlaze is a scalable low-cost cloud backup and storage service that is simple to use, low cost and provides unlimited storage solutions. As a BackBlaze partner, we’d like to extend an invite to you to create a BackBlaze account. If you have any questions about BackBlaze or any other backup or security issues we’d be pleased to speak with you.
Many of these security issues have straightforward solutions if you know what technologies to use and which vendors to select. However, organizations often realize that they don’t have the right level of technical expertise in-house to effectively manage their growing and increasingly complex IT systems.
If you're looking to leverage the expertise of an outside partner, we are here to help. Managed AV, Managed Backup, Remote Help Desk, and Onsite Technical services are just a few of the services we provide our SMB clients with Managed Service agreements.
Contact OT Group today. Our team of technology and cybersecurity experts would be happy to answer any questions you may have.