The introduction of remote work has been beneficial for both employers and employees, providing numerous advantages such as increased productivity, improved job satisfaction, and reduced operational costs. Employers who hire remote developers must, however, remain cognizant of the potential data security and software security risks that come with remote working. It is essential to ensure that robust measures are in place to mitigate these risks and protect the organisation and its stakeholders.
This post outlines the eight best data security practices for assisting remote employees in working securely.
Strong data security policy
In the vast majority of cases, data and software security breaches are caused by employees unintentionally mishandling sensitive data. To ensure that their remote team members are properly informed of their security policy and understand the implications of a security breach, companies should consider developing a data security policy that includes a list of appropriate dos and don’ts. Through this proactive approach, companies can help to ensure that their remote team members are aware of the safeguards necessary to protect sensitive data.
Organisations should take the time to recognise employees who are adhering to the policy, as this can have a positive impact on the organisation’s overall success. At the same time, it is essential to ensure that all employees understand the potential consequences of not complying with the policy; this can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and can help to minimise any potential issues that may arise.
Data security tools and training
In order to adhere to the organisation’s data security policy, it is essential that employees have the correct tools and training at their disposal. This includes spam filtering software, antivirus software, virtual private networks (VPNs) and password managers, which enable employees to carry out their roles without having to worry about potential data security breaches.
In certain situations where security is a priority, it may be essential to provide employees with training on software tools designed to keep data and software secure. To ensure that employees are thoroughly familiar with these tools, in-depth training sessions should be arranged to provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills.
Limit the use of personal electronics
The personal devices utilised by employees are not as secure as the devices configured and deployed by the company. Consequently, there is an increased risk of data and software security breaches occurring.
To ensure that company data is being used securely, tools and software have been installed on company-owned devices. This provides an added layer of protection against the misuse of data. In addition, location tracking software has been implemented to further enhance the security of the software and data. This helps to ensure that the security and privacy of company data is being properly maintained.
For data security, use a zero-trust approach
Microsoft’s Zero-Trust Model is being adopted by businesses and organisations around the globe as an effective way to ensure the security of their data. Every time a user requests access to sensitive data, the system requires them to go through a rigorous authentication process before granting access. This multi-factor authentication process helps to confirm the identity of the user and protect against malicious actors.
Companies can ensure a secure data environment by implementing a zero-trust approach. This approach can help to minimise the repercussions of any external or internal security breach and thus reduce any associated damage.
Create strong passwords and secure connections
One of the most effective methods of data security is to establish secure connections. With the rise of remote work, it is now possible for employees to work from their home, a coffee shop, or any other location in the world. To ensure the safety of online activity and location, companies should secure their internet connection with a virtual private network (VPN). This will help protect data and ensure that sensitive information is not compromised.
It is important to ensure that employees are utilising secure password practices. It is common for employees to create passwords that include personal information in an effort to make them easier to remember; however, this can create a vulnerability in the system as personal information is often more easily guessed or discovered. Companies should consider implementing policies to ensure that employees are creating passwords that are secure, yet still easy for them to remember.
Due to the risks posed by weak passwords, it is essential to inform employees about their dangers and to provide a password manager for them to store multiple passwords for different platforms. This is an essential measure for ensuring data security.
Choose the best VPN for data security
It is imperative for businesses to ensure that their remote developers are provided with a secure connection, and the right virtual private network (VPN) is just as important in achieving this goal. Bulk sharing of VPN servers can result in them becoming overburdened, which leaves them vulnerable to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Therefore, it is essential for businesses to thoroughly research all of the available VPN services before making a decision.
Despite the many benefits of virtual private networks (VPNs), it is important to consider certain criteria when selecting the ideal VPN for your needs. These criteria include a large server network, robust firewalls, the capacity to manage traffic using split tunnelling, and the capability to monitor user activity. By ensuring that any VPN you choose meets these criteria, you can be sure that your online activities remain secure and private.
Keep software up to date
Without regular software and application updates, networks become increasingly susceptible to security threats. Organisations should make every effort to install patches as soon as they become available in order to strengthen their network security and maintain a secure baseline. To ensure data security, it is essential for businesses to keep software up-to-date with timely updates. Furthermore, for optimal security, businesses can conduct a Penetration Test (Pen Test) to identify and remediate any vulnerabilities that may exist in their network.
Security breach response strategy
Having a robust security breach response plan in place is an essential part of any organisation’s security strategy. Organisations that have such a plan in place are in a better position to minimise the damage caused by data security and software breaches, mitigating the risk of negative publicity and lost productivity. Furthermore, these organisations are better equipped to document the impact of any data breaches that do occur and have a clear set of actions to take in the event of a security breach. This can ultimately lead to better outcomes than those organisations without a response plan.
Additionally, organisations which have established an incident response plan can swiftly identify the source of the attack, evaluate what went wrong, alert personnel to the situation, and minimise any potential negative publicity.
It is essential to ensure that best practices regarding data security are rigorously enforced in order to guarantee that remote employees are working in a safe virtual environment. In this age of digital transformation, having a protected virtual work environment is essential for any organisation that is seeking to prosper.
As a result, addressing the challenges of software and data security is an unavoidable step toward embracing remote work.