Remote Working Security Challenges and Tips for Small Businesses
Ever since the norm of working from home became common after the pandemic, companies and employees started discovering the benefits of this new practice. Many are inclined to keep the remote or hybrid work setup. Yet, there are quite a few remote working security challenges that small businesses may face. In this article, we will take a look at such risks and how to overcome them.
Common Remote Working Security Challenges for Small Businesses
We have listed a few of the common challenges that remote workers may come across. Let’s take a look at those before understanding how to resolve them.
1. Employee Network Infrastructure
One of the biggest concerns that evolved with remote working security during the pandemic was the inadequacy of the network infrastructure at remote employees’ homes. Depending on the location of the employees, they had different network providers and different conditions under which their network is operating. Most companies have no control over the speed, reliability and security of their employees’ network accessibility in geographically disparate locations.
Such network inconsistencies lead to issues in work coordination and most importantly the inability to manage security or compliance. For small businesses, this can be a major concern.
2. VPN Problems
The next issue that may arise is VPN problems. For most companies, having a VPN with remote access is rare – even more so for small businesses. Being on a VPN network may reduce the Internet speed, especially during high traffic. Companies would need to opt for special configurations to figure this issue out.
For remote workers, cybersecurity is the main issue. Protecting company data and information is a top priority for companies of all sizes. When in an office environment, business computer security is well within one’s control. However, for remote workspaces, the matter could be troublesome with various threats like phishing, scam emails, ransomware, etc. Attackers may use such means to extract information from employees or have them download malicious content.
4. Compliance & Security Issues
Lastly, compliance and security requirements can be an issue. These requirements were formed per the traditional workplace environment. But now, with a shift in the workplace itself, adjusting to these new requirements may be a challenge. There are various means and methods to overcome such troubles, but businesses need to be well prepared for them.
Tips to Overcome Remote Working Cybersecurity Threats
Now that we recognize the cybersecurity issues that may arise for remote workers, let us now focus on the solutions and how you can avoid them.
1. Opt for Work Computers
As mentioned earlier, most companies can never predict what kind of devices the employees may be using. To avoid breaches or leaks of sensitive, confidential information, it’s recommended to keep personal devices and work devices separate. Investing in work devices is a good way for small businesses to pro protect themselves and their employees from cybersecurity threats.
2. Using SD-WAN
With the huge shift from hardware to software and cloud-based connections and storage, SD-WAN is a great choice for remote workers to operate in a safe and secure connection. SD-WAN is a virtual WAN structure that allows you to securely connect your users to relevant applications through a combination of transport services. It helps regulate cloud friction, increases visibility, as well as prioritizes traffic to provide your employees with a seamless online working experience.
3. Mandatory Password Protection
From accounts to portals, everything should be password protected because if any hacking or breach were to occur, the online integrity and reputation of the company could be at stake. Ensuring that remote workers have password protection on all their working devices, accounts, and folders is a good way to ensure safety.
4. Invest in Security Tools
Investing in security software and tools specially made for data protection would be the ideal solution for remote workers. Some examples would be:
- Firewalls: Firewalls act as barriers between any two networks and act as a safeguard against any threats that may try to get into the company network. This helps regulate the traffic and keep your systems safe.
- VPN: VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an encrypted and secure tunnel through which you exchange information. Asking employees to use a VPN will allow all business information exchanges to happen within a protected platform.
- Anti-virus software: Anti-virus software will continuously scan systems and files to detect any threats or malware. Therefore, make sure that they are installed, updated, and functional.
5. Educating Employees
Employees are an active element in securing company data. Therefore, before looking into high-level technology, businesses should make sure that their employees are well aware of security threats, what they can do to protect themselves against them, and what their company is doing to ensure safety. Employee awareness is as important as any other measures listed in this article.
6. Invest in a Reliable Managed Security Service
Lastly, using Managed Security Services is the most comprehensive solution against any cybersecurity threats. Managed Security Services providers help maintain and manage the security of client devices, networks, and systems. Therefore, even for businesses with a full-blown remote working environment, they can rest assured knowing their network, devices, and systems are safe and sound.
Here are a few reasons why Managed Security Services is the best cybersecurity for small businesses:
- Ultimate protection for the ever-evolving cyber threats: Hackers get more and more competent every day. Therefore, having a team of experts taking care of cybersecurity is more efficient than spending the time and resources to keep up with the new threats.
- Cost-efficiency: Hiring a Managed Security Service provider is more cost-efficient in the long run than having an in-house cybersecurity security team.
- Peace of mind: When hiring Managed Security Services, businesses allow their (remote) workers to focus on their work instead of worrying about cyber breaches and hacks.
Protecting your remote workers is protecting your business. Check out ITEK’s Managed Security Services and see how our team safeguards Canadian businesses with our comprehensive solution.
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