In as much as working from home is a worthwhile experience, challenges are bound to arise. The risk of security issues that arise from your computer while at home is one of the biggest threats that need to be handled with care. The security procedures that are put in place when working in an office should also be reflected at home for the safety of your company's data.
Here are some tips on how you can protect your computer and other working devices without losing/leaking any of the company's information.
Maintain Cyber Security
Keeping your computer security software up to date is very crucial when it comes to working from home. Below are some of the best practices that can be put in place by your company to maintain cyber security:
- Establishing a separate, external network that is dedicated exclusively to remote access. If nothing infects the server, then no risk spreads to the other parts of the network.
- Developing a site-to-site VPN connection or using a secure remote service.
- Using multi-factor authentication, session locking, and encryption to protect data.
- Patching and updating the hardware and software on all computers.
- Using strong passwords.
- Setting up session time out on all connections and automatic screen locks on every computer.
- Configuring computer firewalls and anti-virus/anti-malware software manually.
- Setting up restrictions to keep unnecessary/unknown browser extensions from being installed.
- Physically securing computers with locking cables while in an untrustworthy place such as in a conference area, if possible.
- Using company-owned devices that can be secured and maintained by in-house IT-staff.
Ensure Your Physical Workspace Is Secure
In as much as it is vital to secure your computer/laptop, ensuring that your working space/ home office is secure is also very crucial. Home offices usually contain expensive types of equipment that would lead to a significant loss if stolen or destroyed in any way. Sensitive documents and physical files are also stored in the same office.
If the place is, therefore, not secure the company, you are working with may be exposed to a risk of destroying their reputation as well as crushing down. Getting one of your company's IT staff to come and confirm if your dedicated working space is secure is a very crucial thing when it comes to security.
You can also go for a security guard when necessary as a way of securing your computers in the home office. In case of any theft in such a case, you will always have someone accountable. Besides, you can also install a scan-to-enter system as well as CCTV cameras to know who comes in and goes out. Unfortunately, not all home offices can be in a position to put all these measures in place. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that your working space should be secure by all means no matter which security measures you employ.
Keep an Eye On Your Computer/Laptop
When you are outside your home office, always make sure that your computer or laptop is well protected. Keeping an eye on that laptop every time is very crucial. Children and pets should carefully be monitored when your computer is around them.
Whether accidentally or intentionally, if they use your laptop, they may tap on the keyboard and type things that can easily interfere with the data on that computer. You should, therefore, ensure that you keep an eye on that computer always or that you hide it securely where no one can have access.
Strictly Follow Your Company's Security Policies
Every company that has remote employees normally has clear policies on how their network should be used. These rules should not only be effective when you are working from the office but also at home.
In case of any suspicious behavior concerning the network, you should immediately inform the IT so that they can look into it. This gives the IT a chance also to ensure that the operating systems, anti-virus/anti-malware are up to date as well as to make sure that the regular computer scanning is done.
Never Use Public WI-Fi on your computer
Public WI-Fi is very vulnerable to malicious attacks, and therefore you should ensure by all means that you never use it on your computer/laptop to do any office work. Even if you log in to the company's VPN, those few seconds that you use can allow cyber criminals to access your company's information.
Working remotely comes with risks, but with the right cyber security and strong security policies in place, the venture is worth the investment.