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Protecting The Data Of Remote Workers: Four Essential Security Factors

Adapting to digitalization is unavoidable in nearly every industry, let alone businesses. Though it offers unimaginable perks and privileges, navigating through the digital landscape is also full of unpredictable and unprecedented challenges. 

Nowadays, cybercriminals are smart enough to enter via various gateways and exploit loopholes. They utilize software applications to intrude networks, interfere and steal digital information. For instance, hackers spread malware and viruses throughout virtual and digital networks. Eventually, the malware reaches destined devices and performs programmed activities, such as encrypt files containing important data. Hackers then demand money to facilitate decryption. 

At present, such attacks are more concerning and graver due to extensive dependence on digital platforms for commercial activities. Thus, protecting worker's data is a grave challenge for companies today. Therefore, it is vital to devise and execute cyber security measures and ensure remote workers' compliance. The following sections discuss some of the prerequisites of protecting and ensuring the data security of remote workers.

  • Utilize trusted networks

Public networks are easy to manipulate and prone to hacking attacks. While browsing over public networks, employees leave behind traceable traces in the form of their devices' internet protocol (IP) addresses. Hackers utilize IPs, locate devices, and scheme data infringement using sophisticated software. That's why employees should use private and trusted networks to perform their activities. For instance, a virtual private network (VPN) is an effective alternative to ensure remote workers' connectivity and data security at the same time. It is because VPN services encrypt propagating data and mask IP addresses. No matter wherever and whatever workers browse, VPN does not reveal their identities. Thus, they are secure from hackers' manipulation. 

Companies can explore and utilize the services of several top VPNs for IP protection. However, it is equally important to scrutinize their secondary and advanced protecting features, such as supporting connectivity of multiple devices, zero logging information, and domain name protection. It is because an advanced level of protection leaves no clues for data infringement and exploitation. Similarly, workers should use hotspots or mobile networks during remote work operations. Connecting to public Wi-Fi connections can expose their devices and facilitate cyberattacks. 

  • Ensure multilayered protection

Remote workers often use their email accounts to perform required tasks rather than company-provided accounts while working from home. Usually, personal accounts do not execute a multi-factor authentication approach. As a result, employees are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hence, it is essential to utilize the company's authenticated accounts. 

Companies can also employ protecting systems to track employees' browsing activities and block their access to suspicious websites. Similarly, a company can precondition multi-factor protection on employees to prevent malicious interference. The approach involves several authentication measures, such as password, identification number, picture, and email address, to allow access to an account or device.

In addition, the organizations should ensure the security of gateways of their remote workstations. Though information technology experts cannot access employees' devices remotely, they can guide the installation of robust antivirus software and updating them frequently. Other protective measures include automating windows firewalls, securing browsers, enabling email protection, and scheduling periodic scanning of workstations. Employees should also be aware of cyber-attacks via routine communication means, such as phishing emails. Thus, avoiding contact with such links and encoding crucial email attachments are fundamental to prevent potential cyber intrusions.

  • Literate workers on cybersecurity

Preparedness is a better strategy than suffering and recovering from cyberattacks and subsequent damages. If your workers are not aware of the cyberspace challenges, they are less likely to execute essential security measures. Hackers usually search for such soft spots, loopholes, and budding gaps in security. It is because trespassing through secure gateways may also be challenging for hackers. 

Most of the time, novice mistakes can lead to disastrous consequences. For instance, Levitas Capital lost approximately $16m investment fund when one of its employees responded to a fake invitation on the Zoom application. That's why educating your workers about the cybersecurity essentials and smart hacking practices; are the most fundamental steps to prevent data breaches. 

First of all, ensure a robust and resilient cyber security policy and take on board each employee. Schedule training sessions and update workers regarding recent developments and threats of the virtual space. Before exposing employees to real situations, execute and administer simulated drills. These practices will strengthen their skillset and prepare them to be more vigilant and responsive to doubtful activities.

  • Administer and encourage backup

Backing up data is crucial even without cyberattack threats. Several other incidents, including malfunctioning devices, natural catastrophes, and human errors, can also lead to irreparable data damage. Thus, keeping multiple data backups minimizes the likelihood of data loss. There are several traditional and advanced data storing techniques.

Thus, utilizing different storage sources and alternatives can offer comprehensive protection from losses and cyberattacks. For instance, hard drives and magnetic drives can provide local means to store massive data. Local storage enables individual employees to secure and backup data associated with their operations and personal devices. However, physical drives are prone to damages, malfunctioning, and theft.

On the other hand, cloud-based data backup is more reliable, spacious, and secure from hacking activities. Since cloud networks are spread over diverse locations and protected with advanced encryption techniques, it is not easy for hackers to unlock and access your data. Cloud backup is also helpful in retrieving data instantly, regardless of geographic and temporal limitations. 

Irrespective of the data backup alternatives, it is crucial to automate data backup or ensure periodic updates. The more robust your backup framework and strategy, the more secure you are from data losses.

Concluding remarks

Though virtual space and digital advancements have narrowed down geographic gaps, extensive dependence has also attracted novel means of manipulation. For instance, cybercrimes and hacking attacks have merged as the most harmful agents for the entire economic and commercial sectors. Remote workers and their data are equally prone to such attacks. Intrusion to remote workers' accounts and devices can lead to devastating consequences for businesses. That's why companies should augment their security protocols and teach remote workers to be smart and utilize data protection approaches.

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