Resources and Tips / Cybersecurity: Protecting company data out of office
Cybersecurity: Protecting company data out of office
By SME Institute
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to adapt quickly and transition to remote work. While this shift can bring many benefits, it also presents potential security risks. As a business owner, it’s important that you understand how to protect your company information when working outside the office. Here’s what you need to know about cybersecurity for remote workers.
The first step in protecting your company’s data is performing a security audit. You need to know where your data is stored and what kind of protection it has. Many companies have no idea where their data actually resides, or they think that by storing it all on-site, they have done enough to protect it. A security audit will tell you exactly where all your data is located, who has access to it, and what security measures are in place to protect it from unauthorized access.
Secure Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is an excellent option for businesses that need to access their files from anywhere in the world. With cloud storage, passwords should be complex and changed regularly while encryption ensures that only those with the correct decryption key can view the data within the cloud system.
Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication
Another way you can protect your data is through implementing certain security protocols such as two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA). 2FA requires two separate pieces of evidence before granting someone permission to access sensitive information or systems – typically a password plus another form of identification such as a code sent via SMS or email. This adds an extra layer of protection against unwanted intruders as even if they manage to guess or steal someone’s password, they won’t be able to get past 2FA without having both pieces of evidence present. MFA uses the same principle, but requires three or more separate pieces of information to validate a user.
Creating strong passwords should be a priority for any business operating out of office as it protects against cyberattacks from malicious hackers or other third parties who might gain unauthorized access to your accounts or networks. A strong password should contain upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols in order to make it more difficult for someone to guess or crack into your accounts. It is also important for all employees to have different passwords for each account they use since using the same one puts everything at risk if one account is ever compromised.
Encrypting your data is one of the most effective ways to keep it secure while allowing authorized personnel access when needed. Encryption makes sure that only those with the correct credentials can access sensitive data, thus preventing any malicious actors from being able to gain access. Encryption technology also helps prevent any data breaches if an unauthorized person does somehow gain access; without encryption, any information gained would be easily readable and accessible by anyone who managed to break into the system.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
A virtual private network (VPN) can provide another layer of security when accessing company information remotely by encrypting all data sent over public networks like Wi-Fi hotspots or cellular networks. This helps prevent anyone else on a shared connection from seeing what you’re doing online and also helps protect against man-in-the-middle attacks where someone attempts to intercept communications between two parties in order to steal information or gain access to resources they shouldn’t have access to. VPNs are relatively easy to set up via software downloads so if your team will be accessing sensitive information outside of the office on a regular basis then this could be worth considering as an additional layer of protection.
With the right tools and protocols in place, your business data can protect itself from cyberthreats even when employees are out of the office working remotely. Ensure you have undergone a security audit, consider using cloud storage and VPNs and take precautions such as implementing two-factor or multi-factor authentication, encouraging strong passwords and encrypting data stored on mobile devices so that your business information remains secure no matter where your team works from day-to-day.