Working remotely was not just a temporary effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, it’s not going anywhere. Many businesses are making permanent shifts to full-time remote or hybrid models. If your business has taken this route, have you considered how that will affect data security?
Your current security measures and policies are based on an internal infrastructure that relies on employees working on-site at the office. Now that they’re working from home, those measures and policies no longer apply. In this case, your employees are now using devices and equipment that are outside your network. This creates an opportunity for cybercriminals to find more entry points. By simply hacking into one employee’s computer, your entire network can be compromised.
Since the pandemic began, cybersecurity has emerged as one of the top concerns for CEOs. If you choose to move to a hybrid workforce, reorganizing your cybersecurity measures isn’t optional. All businesses have a strict obligation to protect the data of their customers. Moving to a remote model creates new challenges in security that must be addressed. We recommend that an organization give thought to how data will be secured when allowing your employees to have remote access.
Here are some ways you can protect your data when you shift to a hybrid model:
Set up a VPN
A VPN is a direct line to your data that employees can access securely and encrypts all the data that is being sent and received. Think of it as a private tunnel from your network to your remote employee, who can securely access the data from home or any public location. The VPN also keeps the employee’s location private and allows them to access the internet anonymously.
Adopt zero-trust network access
Traditional IT security trusts any user, provided that user is inside the network. With zero-trust network access, any user must have their identity verified, whether they are inside or outside the network. A zero-trust network tolerates no exceptions. Whereas a VPN grants access to an entire network, zero-trust network access grants access to a specific application or service. It’s an added layer of security that will prevent hackers from accessing certain resources or areas of your network should they find an entry point. If you only have basic IT security, a hacker would have unlimited access once they found a way into your network.
Move to the cloud
A transition to a cloud environment may be the best and most efficient solution to organize and manage your network security. A cloud-based solution is a pay-for-use resource that provides storage space, software and applications, and networks. A cloud-based solution can be created through software as a service (SaaS), in which a cloud provider hosts the app and infrastructure while taking care of software maintenance or upgrades. It can also be created through infrastructure as a service (IaaS), allowing you to rent storage space, networks and servers. Liberty Technology uses and recommends Cisco Webex, a cloud-based suite designed for video conferencing and collaboration that ensures companies work effectively whether they’re meeting in person or remotely.
No matter what measures you choose to enhance your remote network security, it is vital that you educate your employees on the risks and dangers of working remotely. We recommend implementing across-the-board protocols, and requiring that each employee follow and understand why the protocols are necessary. Although this is an effective recommendation, it should be noted that employees might see overly strict measures as an infringement on their privacy, which could make them uncomfortable working for the company. After all, since they are working from home, they are entitled to some measure of privacy.
If you are moving to a hybrid model, Liberty Technology has the software and hardware to secure your data and ensure your collaboration and efficiency are running smoothly. We serve the Macon Ga area, providing cloud backup, backup data security and other IT services. Give us a call today so we can help make your transition to a remote workforce seamless and painless.