As the world continues to fight the Coronavirus outbreak, the primary way we have been told to reduce the spread is social distancing. For many businesses, that means allowing staff to work from home through remote access. Remote access is when a connection is made to an organization’s internal network. This allows you to use your office computer and access your files from home, just as if you were sitting at your desk.
However, implementing remote access technology on short notice from a secured and trusted office environment to unknown devices can create significant security risks. During a time of crisis, long-standing and strong security practices are often the first thing given up to help expedite a solution. Bad actors are actively trying to exploit the quickly expanding remote workforce, so it is up to all of us to stay vigilant and to keep our personal and company’s data safe.
Below are some basic “Do’s and Don’ts” while helping your team become a more mobile workforce.
- Do discuss all your remote desktop software options, consider a budget, and review your networking infrastructure to help decide which is best for your team.
- Do consider drafting a Remote Access Policy. Similar to an “Acceptable Usage Policy”, this would include expectations of working hours, legal rights, and cybersecurity requirements.
- Do require strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
- Do ensure your staff has internet at home and their Wi-Fi connection is secure.
- Do check that all your software and anti-virus is in place and up to date.
- Do limit users who can log in and set an account lockout policy.
- Do ensure clear communication lines to be able to verify that emails and information is coming from a trusted source.
- Do define a clear procedure to follow in case of a security incident. Provide information on who to notify and how to call for support or in case of emergency.
- Don’t allow your staff to access your network using an insecure Wi-Fi connection such as at coffee shops, hotels, or restaurants.
- Don’t enable full access to the server for all staff. Limit access to only the information necessary to perform the duties of that position.
- Don’t forget communication tools. Determine how your staff will contact clients and collaborate with the rest of the team. Phones, fax, webcams, microphones, and conferencing software may all need to be ordered and configured.
- Don’t leave devices unattended and ensure your laptop times out and locks automatically.
- If possible, don’t use home computers and devices to access the network. At a minimum, use a clean device that is not used for social media or downloading media and apps.
- Finally, don’t forget to train your staff to stay vigilant with cybersecurity. Many cybercriminals have already begun trying to exploit the crisis. Be far more careful than usual when installing software and giving out any personal information.
Digital viruses spread much like physical ones; even small changes to your security standards could very well contaminate you, others in your organization, and bring your business to a halt. Everyone’s personal behavior is crucial in preventing the spread of dangerous infections both online and in the physical world. Stay safe out there friends.
Optimized Computer Solutions can help you put a business continuity plan in place to keep your employees productive and safe.