Strategies for Protecting Employer’s Cybersecurity for Employees Working From Home
Indeed, remote working is a dream come true for individuals focusing on work-life balance. On the other hand, most companies encourage their employees to work from home nowadays for various reasons. That explains the surge in the number of individuals working remotely in the recent past. Telecommuting has many benefits, including saving on time and money, flexibility, increased productivity, among other things. As much as that is the case, there is also the cybersecurity aspect that no one can afford to ignore when remote.
Remote work increases a company’s susceptibility to cybersecurity risks. Most employers do their best to protects their entities from cyberattacks. Unfortunately, employees are the weakest link in most cases on matters pertaining to cybersecurity. Here are some of the best practices that employees in the San Francisco Bay Area can adopt to protect employer’s cybersecurity.
1. Ensure You Comply With the Set Policies, Laws, and Regulations
Most probably, your employer has rules and regulations in place for governing remote operations. As an employee working remotely, your role, in this case, is ensuring that you comply with such requirements. The reason is that handling some office roles from home may not be a wise idea. Indeed, your employer may outline remote work permissibility and expectations.
For that reason, you need to familiarize yourself with your organization’s policies and regulations regarding remote operations. Once you understand your employer’s requirements for anyone working from home, ensure you observe the cybersecurity rules they have set to protect company devices.
2. Consider Using the Company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Currently, the internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity. That is why most homes have an internet connection. The fact that you can access your office network through your home Wi-Fi does not suggest that you can do so without taking the necessary precautions. That is where a VPN comes in handy because it safeguards company devices and data. A VPN encrypts data, thereby adding an extra level of protection for such information like sensitive or private details, passwords, and credit card numbers.
You can also enjoy some level of anonymity when using a VPN because it can mask IP addresses, location data, and your website history. It is also worth mentioning that although using the RDP on your network is an option, in this case, you should avoid it because it is not secure. The solution here is relying on the VPN that your employer provides when accessing the office network. That way, you will play a critical role in protecting your firm’s data.
3. Prioritize Proper Disposal of Office Documents
If your organization has information management and records retention and management policies, you need to review them so you can comply with them. The reason is that you may need to dispose of some hard copies of official documents. When that time comes, retain such records for proper disposal after returning to the office.
Remember that individuals with ill motives will always be on the lookout for anything they can use to infiltrate your company system. So, leaving the documents you intend to dispose of unattended, especially in public, can land your firm’s data in the wrong hands without your knowledge. As such, you should protect physical documents in the best way possible to avoid such unfortunate incidents.
4. Keep Unauthorized Individuals Away From Your Office Devices
Working from home opens the door to expose work devices to family, friends, as well as strangers. That right there is a security risk. In that case, separating your work-life from the people around you when working remotely is not an option. As such, you should dedicate a particular area within your house for office work only and keep the place under lock and key when you are away.
If you do not have a home office, you should lock company devices using passwords to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing such resources. Also, if you are in a meeting or call involving sensitive information, consider using a private location.
5. Ensure Your Office Devices, Software, and Technologies Are Updated
Using outdated software, systems, and devices when working from home renders your firm vulnerable to hackers. Engaging your employer closely will ensure that all the office tools you use for remote operations have the latest security patches to guard against data breaches. Also, not all remote workers have the technical knowledge necessary for updating company systems.
When that is the case, an employer may choose to work with local technology services vendors. If your company has such an arrangement, ensure the office tools you are using are up-to-date.
6. Use Company-Authorized Devices for Remote Operations
First, personal devices may not have the same privacy protection and security level as those your employer provides. On the other hand, if your organization has a “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” policy, ensure that your use of any personal device, including an individual email account or a home printer is in line with the set rules and regulations.
Sending emails to your device or printing work documents on your home printer may appear convenient, but that may threaten your company’s cybersecurity, and it will also be a violation of office policies. Also, such “shortcuts” may leave your entity prone to privacy and security risks. Using company-authorized devices when working from home acts as a precaution against cyber threats that may compromise your office data.
Cybersecurity is a concern for most organizations. That is why employers are at the forefront of implementing measures to counter online attacks that may derail their operations. However, the cybersecurity approaches that businesses adopt can only be effective when employees play their part.
Embracing the tips above as an employee working from home will allow you to support your organization’s efforts to secure in-house data. If you need more information on employee responsibilities for protecting their employer’s cybersecurity, contact us today!