As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations to rapidly adapt and implement remote work policies, cybersecurity has become an increasingly important concern. While working remotely can offer many benefits, it also creates new risks and vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.
In this article, we will discuss the top 8 cybersecurity necessities for remote teams.
Encrypting your data
Data encryption involves turning readable data into an unreadable format. This is done using a mathematical algorithm and a key that allows you to decode the encrypted data. Data encryption is an important security measure as it makes it much more difficult for unauthorized individuals to access your data.
There are many different types of data encryption, but one of the most commonly used is Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS is a protocol that’s used to encrypt data that’s being transmitted over the internet. A lot of sites use TLS to protect their sensitive data, including credit card information and login credentials.
In addition to good data encryption, monitoring of any data centers and data center traffic are also important best practices for ensuring that no new vulnerabilities are being created for cybercriminals to exploit.
Allowing only strong passwords
The most important best practice where passwords are concerned is to always go for longer ones. A password should be at least eight characters in length, and ideally 12 or more. It should also include a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Always avoid using easy-to-guess passwords such as “123456” or easily found personal data for your 2FA, such as a birthday.
Password managers can be a helpful way to generate and keep track of strong passwords. LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane are all popular options. Insisting on strong passwords is one of the best ways to protect remote workers from cybersecurity threats.
Two-factor authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an important security measure that adds an extra layer of protection to your online accounts. When you set up 2FA, you are asked to provide two separate pieces of information to access your account. The first is almost always your password, followed by a security code that is generated by inputting something like your phone number or email.
While 2FA does add a bit of inconvenience to the login process, it’s well worth the effort for the added security it provides. Many major online services, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter, now offer 2FA.
Using a VPN
A VPN, or virtual private network, is a tool that allows you to securely connect to another network over the internet. VPNs are often used by businesses to allow employees to access company resources from home or while traveling. They can also be used by individuals to protect their privacy and security online.
When you connect to a VPN, all of your internet traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel to the VPN server. This makes it much more difficult for anyone to snoop on your web activity or steal your personal data and is why remote workers should use a VPN at all times.
Backing up your data
Backing up your data is an important security measure that can help you recover from a ransomware attack or other type of data loss. There are many different ways to back up your data, including using an external hard drive, a cloud-based storage service, or a backup service like Backblaze.
When backing up your data, it’s important to use a method that’s reliable and easy to use. You should also make sure to back up your data regularly, as well as create multiple copies in different locations.
Avoiding phishing scams
Phishing is a type of online scam where criminals attempt to trick you into revealing personal information or clicking on malicious links. Phishing scams are typically carried out via email, but they can also come in the form of text messages or pop-up ads.
To protect yourself from phishing scams, you should never click on links or attachments from suspicious emails. You should also be cautious of giving out personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account number, to anyone online. Employee education is key when it comes to spotting and avoiding phishing attempts. You should consider having cybersecurity training as part of your onboarding process so that any new remote workers are immediately up to speed when they start working.
Keeping your software up to date
One of the best ways to protect your computer from security threats is to keep your software up to date. This includes your operating system, as well as any applications you have installed.
Most software updates include security fixes for newly discovered vulnerabilities. By keeping your software up to date, you can help protect your computer from malware and other security threats.
Using a firewall
A firewall is a tool that helps to protect your computer from unauthorized access. Firewalls can be hardware-based or software-based, and they typically work by blocking incoming connections that are not authorized.
While firewalls are not a perfect solution, they can be a helpful addition to your security setup. If you’re using a home router, it likely has a built-in firewall that you can enable.
These are just a few of the most important cybersecurity measures you should take to protect your remote team. By taking these steps, you can help to keep your team safe and secure online.