Remote work has proven to be a boon to both employers and employees, offering several benefits, including enhanced productivity, elevated job satisfaction, and decreased operational expenses. However, organisations that hire remote developers must be mindful of the potential data security and software security risks associated with remote working. Therefore, implementing robust measures is crucial to curb these risks and safeguard the organisation and its stakeholders.
In this post, we present the eight most effective data security practices to help remote employees work securely.
Robust Data Security Policy
In most cases, data and software security breaches occur due to unintentional mishandling of sensitive information by employees. Hence, companies should create a data security policy that provides a list of suitable dos and don’ts to ensure that their remote team members are aware of their security policy and the consequences of a security breach. This proactive approach can help to ensure that remote team members understand the necessary safeguards for protecting sensitive data.
Recognising employees who comply with the policy can have a positive impact on the overall success of the organisation. Conversely, it is crucial to make sure that all employees grasp the possible consequences of non-compliance with the policy. This approach can ensure that every employee is aligned and can help to reduce any potential problems that may arise.
Data Security Training and Tools
To comply with the organisation’s data security policy, providing the necessary tools and training to employees is crucial. These tools include spam filtering software, antivirus software, virtual private networks (VPNs) and password managers, which allow employees to perform their duties confidently without worrying about potential data security breaches.
In specific scenarios where security is paramount, providing employees with training on software tools that safeguard data and software may be necessary. In-depth training sessions should be organised to familiarise employees with such tools and equip them with the requisite knowledge and skills.
Restrict the Use of Personal Electronics
Personal devices used by employees are generally less secure than devices provided and managed by the company. As a result, the chances of data and software security breaches are higher.
To guarantee the safe usage of company data, the organisation has installed software and tools on company-owned devices. This additional layer of protection helps to prevent data misuse. Additionally, location-tracking software has been implemented to further boost the security and privacy of company data.
Adopt a Zero-Trust Approach for Data Security
Numerous businesses and organisations worldwide are embracing Microsoft’s Zero-Trust Model as an effective method for securing their data. Whenever a user requests access to sensitive data, the system mandates a rigorous authentication process before granting access. This multi-factor authentication helps confirm the user’s identity and protect against malicious actors.
Implementing a zero-trust approach can enable companies to establish a secure data environment. This approach can help mitigate the impact of any external or internal security breach, thereby minimising associated damage.
Establish Strong Passwords and Secure Connections
Establishing secure connections is one of the most effective ways to secure data. With remote work becoming increasingly prevalent, employees are now able to work from virtually any location worldwide, including from home or a coffee shop. To safeguard online activity and location, companies must secure their internet connection using a virtual private network (VPN). This measure helps protect data and ensures that sensitive information is not at risk of being compromised.
Ensuring that employees implement secure password practices is crucial. Employees frequently use personal information in their passwords, assuming that it makes them easier to remember; however, such practices increase system vulnerability as personal details are relatively easy to guess or uncover. Companies should consider implementing policies to ensure that employees create strong, yet memorable passwords.
Given the risks associated with weak passwords, it is critical to educate employees about those risks and provide them with a password manager to store multiple passwords for various platforms. This is a key step in ensuring data security.
Select the Optimal VPN for Data Security
It is essential for businesses to ensure that their remote developers are provided with a secure connection. Selecting the appropriate virtual private network (VPN) is just as crucial to achieving this goal. Sharing VPN servers in bulk can lead to them becoming overloaded, leaving them vulnerable to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. As a result, businesses must conduct thorough research on all available VPN services before making a decision.
Although virtual private networks (VPNs) have many advantages, certain factors must be taken into consideration when selecting the ideal VPN for your requirements. These factors include a broad server network, fortified firewalls, split-tunnelling traffic management capabilities, and the ability to monitor user activity. By verifying that the VPN you select meets these criteria, you can ensure that your online activity remains safe and private.
Ensure the Software is Up-to-Date
In the absence of regular software and application updates, networks become more vulnerable to security threats. Organisations must take all necessary measures to install patches promptly to enhance their network security and maintain a secure baseline. Timely and regular software updates are essential for ensuring data security by businesses. Additionally, businesses can run a Penetration Test (Pen Test) to identify and resolve any network vulnerabilities for optimal security.
Strategy for Responding to Security Breaches
A robust strategy to respond to security breaches is a critical component of any organisation’s security strategy. Organisations that have such a strategy in place are better positioned to reduce the harm caused by data security and software breaches, mitigating the risk of negative publicity and lost productivity. Besides, these organisations are better equipped to document the impact of any data breaches that occur and have a clear set of actions to take when a security breach transpires. Ultimately, this can result in better outcomes than those organisations without a response plan.
Furthermore, organisations that have implemented an incident response plan can quickly pinpoint the source of an attack, evaluate the causes, notify personnel of the situation, and reduce the chance of negative publicity.
Rigorous enforcement of top-notch data security practices is necessary to ensure that remote employees operate in a secure virtual environment. In today’s digital era, having a secure virtual work environment is critical for the success of any organisation.
Therefore, tackling the challenges of software and data security is an essential measure towards adopting remote work.