Every day more and more people are deciding to work from home, and who can blame them? Walking from your bedroom to your office is a tad more relaxing a commute than sitting in traffic for an hour or squeezing into a crowded train car like a Victorian-era duchess would a corset. Let’s not also forget about the perk of wearing sweatpants without feeling judged for it!
However, as the wave of employees staying home gains more and more momentum, businesses are faced with the difficult task of keeping company data secure. It’s hard enough to do that when everyone is safely parked under the same fluorescent lights of an office, but when your workforce is scattered all over the city, state and country, things get a bit more complicated. So, how do you assure your remote workers’ data is secure? Unfortunately, there’s no panacea, but the problem can still be solved using a confluence of strategies.
A good place to start is to use a password manager. You’ve probably had somebody tell you that you should have a different, and still complex, password for each website or application you log in to. The problem is unless you want to cover your desktop with Post-Its or you happen to be Rain Man, that just isn’t a tenable option. This is where password management software comes in.
This software stores all of your passwords behind one master password, so you’ll only need to remember one password without compromising the login info of all your accounts. Most password management software also generates new, high-strength passwords for you when you open new accounts. This is an affordable starting point to ensuring your employees data remains safe, no matter where they are.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Another option to secure your data is to use a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs are often used on personal browsers, but many businesses are using them so that remote workers can more securely access the company’s network. VPNs allow users to securely share data on a private network using a public one by encrypting the data.
A third great tool is endpoint protection software. It’s a bit of a Swiss Army knife (maybe Swiss Army shield would be more apropos?) when it comes to data security. It’s a platform that combines several security features like antivirus, firewalls, mobile device management, and host intrusion prevention systems. Endpoint protection shares features with data security, network security and web security products, but is more focused on functionality with remote devices.
The last thing you’ll need to do is communicate to employees how to use all of these tools. A password management tool is great, but if every password your middle name and date of birth, it won’t do much good. Also, while all security measures certainly can be useful, you’ll want to avoid a security configuration that is too complex. Nobody wants to take 15 minutes to log in to their computer, and if that’s forced upon your employees, they may start taking shortcuts that put your data at risk. And we all love our data too much to do that.