6 Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workforce

by | Apr 14, 2023 | "How To" Articles, Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Tips for your Atlanta Remote Workforce

Since the beginning of Coronavirus lockdowns, more and more people have been working from home. Who would have suspected the world would come to a complete halt in such a short time? We are indeed working in unprecedented times. Like it or not, it has undoubtedly changed how we see the world, personally and professionally.

Remote Workforce Impact on Companies

While this time has been tough on each of us as workers, it is equally hard for companies. Imagine having the responsibility of making enough profit to keep all workers on the payroll and blindly trusting each worker to protect your company data in a different environment.

Unfortunately, one honest mistake could cost the company a fortune. Therefore, the remote worker’s ignorance or unwillingness to adhere to cybersecurity policies could negatively impact a company’s ability to stay afloat. These are trying times for all of us. As a result, it is up to each one of us to do our part to keep our companies profitable.

Cybersecurity Tips for Remote to Help Protect Your Company Data

Working remotely, you can protect your companies data with safe practices and good communication with your IT team. After all, your IT team is always available to help you make the right decisions. Below is a list of ways you can do your part to help protect the company’s data. Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workforce.

1. Use Your Company’s VPN When Working From Home

You are on a private network when you work at your office. As a result, you can send and receive data without going over the public Internet. Likewise, remote users typically have access to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to do the same remotely. This VPN is a significant security vulnerability if you do not use a properly configured firewall.

So, how do you know if you are on your company’s VPN? Your VPN is in your Windows Settings. If it is not, there might be several reasons your company has not secured a VPN. Examples include Software as a Service Applications, Office 365, and other secure data sharing. Therefore, you should ask your IT department about VPN access if you do not see it as an option in your Windows Settings. They will let you know if you need it or not.  If you do, always log on when performing work tasks.

2. Reach Out to Your IT Team Before Loading Software

Remember that your computer is company property and  is not yours to do with as you please. This is one of the most important security tips. Your IT team exists to both protect your company’s data and keep you productive. Therefore, you should include them in any and all software download decisions.

Often, free software is offered to exploit the end-user device. When this happens, hackers access end-users computers as an entry point to all company data. Therefore, if you download infectious software, you are giving access to hackers.

3. Save All Work on Corporate Drives

If you’re like most people, you have lost an important file at some point in your life. Undoubtedly, even thinking about it will likely make your heart sink as you remember having to recreate it from scratch. Now imagine losing all the files on your computer. That’s the risk you take when you do not back up your files to the corporate drive.

Unfortunately, many things can go wrong when employees take their computer home. After all, you don’t have the same protections such as firewall protection, desktop backups, surge protectors, or even theft in most companies. For this reason, it is vitally essential that you store all your documents on the company drive and not your local hard drive.

All of your data is backed up at the corporate level for natural disasters, hackers, hard-drive failures, or thefts. These backups are done on a nightly basis. Yet, everything is stored on your local drive when you are not connected. That’s why all remote workers must copy new files on the company drive every night before they quit work for the day.

4. Think Before You Click

It may be hard to believe, but nearly 95% of business network attacks result from successful phishing emails. Even worse, the average cost to a mid-size company is $1.6 million. The communication can come in the form of a text called smishing. It could also be a targeted attack from a trusted source, like spear phishing. They can even come from a trusted friend or acquaintance. The best thing you can do is to get educated on what a phishing email looks like and how to spot them.

Unfortunately, once a hacker is in the system, they can remain undetected for nearly nine months. Imagine the damage a hacker can do in nine months with unlimited access to all corporate data. Yikes!  Therefore, getting educated on what to look for and avoid is vitally important. 

5. Do Not Share Your Devices at Home

Sharing your work computer with your children or spouse my seem harmless. However, when you do this, you risk the company’s data.  Incidentally, no one ever purposely downloaded a virus. Instead, they unknowingly visit questionable sites, click on phishing emails, and download infected games. In the end, the company pays the price, and you are the one who gets blamed. Therefore, when you work from home, ensure your family uses their own devices, not your company’s assets.

6. Lock Devices When Unattended

It may surprise you that your work computer might unsafe even in your home. Anyone in technology long enough can tell countless stories of company devices being improperly used at remote users’ homes. For instance, one person’s roommate sent a company-wide email claiming that person who owned the computer was having an affair with the Vice President. On another occasion, a teenage son accessed his father’s computer, who was a doctor, to prescribe narcotics. However, the cutest remote working story was when a toddler fell on a keyboard and accidentally sent the father’s venting message to the CEO. Consequently, it was a message the father hadn’t intended to send.

Those are just a few examples of wrong things when a computer is unattended. Therefore, the best practice is to lock your computer when you leave it alone. Another great idea is to set automatic time-outs in the Window’s Settings.

Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workforce – When in Doubt Ask Your IT Department!

Your IT team is here to help.  Whenever you have a question, issue, or problem with your teleworker’s technology, it is best to contact them. Most importantly, do not wait until things are out of hand before contacting them. They want to know what is going on to guide you in the right direction.

Cybersecurity Tips: INSI in Atlanta is Here to Protect You!

This post is part of the INSI Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign designed to protect and inform our clients. We hope you found these security tips helpful. In addition, you can click here to learn more about our security offerings.

Most importantly, if you are an INSI client and are concerned about remote workforce technology, please do not hesitate to Contact INSI:  770-387-2424; option 2 get cybersecurity tips from our help desk.  Our engineers are more than happy to guide you on safe technology practices.  After all, we are here to serve you!

INSI: The Best MSP in Atlanta!

Innovative Network Systems, Inc. has a unique approach to integrating IT support and cybersecurity. Our month-to-month programs range from basic support to proactive support, managed support, and customized support. Each program is tailored to the client’s needs and internal IT strengths.  

For more information about cybersecurity dangers and the preventative measures for your company, connect with the top MSP in Atlanta; Contact INSI: 770-387-2424, option 2 or click the link below. In addition, we offer 16 different cybersecurity programs to protect you and your data.

About the Author

Deborah Frazier is the author of IT Outsourcing Secrets – A Small Business Guide to Compare IT Support Companies. With nearly 20 years of experience consulting small and medium-sized businesses on their IT support needs, she brings a wealth of knowledge to INSI as Head of Marketing and Sales. If you like this article and want to get notified when a new article is posted, click here.

To make an appointment for more information about INSI and our Marietta and Atlanta metro IT Support services, click here.