18% of people worldwide work remotely full time. However, 54% of IT professionals think remote workers pose a greater data security risk. That’s why companies from different sectors around the world need to develop data protection strategies.
The data security risk increases with the number of remote workers and causes a severe challenge to the advantages of working from home. A large amount of digitalized data becomes vulnerable to threats, making companies uneasy.
The good news is: it is possible to overcome this problem with constantly developing technology and proactive approaches. The importance of data protection comes along with effective ways of protection.
Why does remote working cause data threats?
In offices where everyone was together, there was less digitized data. Companies stored the digital data in central storage. The malware had to target this storage to access the data.
Today, your employees who work from the home record all processes, including meetings, as digital data. In addition, all company data is constantly traveling between the devices and networks of employees worldwide. This incessant traffic makes data more vulnerable to threats.
Your employees who are not good with tech may be lacking the necessary precautions for secure data sharing. Unknowingly, they can endanger your company with security vulnerabilities. When they share data using the public internet in homes, cafes, or co-working spaces, your company becomes much more vulnerable to cybercrime.
Cloud-based systems, which are great for remote working, especially due to easy storage and sharing, are at the target of hackers. As soon as a piece of information circulates on the Internet, it comes under the threat of cybercrime.
Why do companies need to stay vigilant against data security threats?
Companies working remotely need to take precautions regarding data security with methods such as multi-factor authentication and data encryption. Your documents, emails, instant messages, and third-party services you store in the cloud are mostly confidential. Unwanted access to this information can put your strategies at risk and undermine your company’s credibility.
On the other hand, it is your legal responsibility to protect the personal data of parties, such as customers and employees, who trust your company and share their information with you. Access to this information by unauthorized persons will put you in a legally challenging position. For this reason, data security is not only a choice but also a legal issue.
Emerging technology offers systems and tools that increase the advantages of working remotely and empower cybercriminals. Data breaches cost companies up to millions of dollars each year, depending on the company’s size. Data breach costs reached $4.24 million in 2021, the highest average total cost in 17 years.
For all these reasons, your company needs to take maximum precautions by investing in tools and third-party services within the scope of data protection.
The data security measures remote workers can take
It helps to train your employees on how to take precautions against cyber threats. Well, first, you will need to know the basic data security measures your remote team can take.
Use antivirus and internet security software
The first thing first: invest in an antivirus program. Antivirus packages automatically protect you against many cyber threats.
For this, these packages take the following precautions:
- Automatic or optional scanning for malware detection,
- Removal of all detected malware and code,
- Verification of the security of your computer and other devices.
These programs can perform all data protection processes in the background or notify the user and request permission. Therefore, inform your remote team about this program to ensure that you effectively use your investment.
Secure home internet
Increasing the security of the home internet empowers your remote workers against cybercrime. Have your employees create a strong password instead of the one provided by the internet provider. Make sure they set a password that’s not easy to guess.
Remind them not to choose a network name that is easy to identify the owner of the Internet connection—using information such as an address, name, company name as network name makes them easy targets. In addition, increase security by changing settings and software updates so that only verified devices can connect to the network.
If they don’t know how to do these things, take the time to help them.
Pay attention to the security of tools such as Zoom, Google Drive
Your remote workers need different tools to communicate with other employees, customers, and business partners. You can provide training on how to use these tools more safely.
When Zoom became popular, many companies had difficulties due to misuse. Similar situations were experienced for different digital tools. For example, when your employees organize a meeting, they should be sure they share the links with whom. Setting a session-specific password further enhances security.
Google Drive is another remote work tool frequently preferred by companies to share files. Again, you can ask employees to be mindful of which email address they create. In addition, they need to be sure with whom each file or document is shared and which permissions are given.
Get data security service
With numerous data protection tools, you can strengthen your company’s security to a certain extent. However, the technology used for cybercrime is constantly evolving. Data security service companies support you in designing, implementing, and overseeing data delivery for remote teams.
You can concretely evaluate how vulnerable your critical data is to risk with data security services. Instead of hypothetical measures, you can identify and effectively implement a data protection strategy with proactive steps.
This service enables you to constantly analyze your system against cybercrime so that you can take precautions without experiencing a data breach. Moreover, you can have experts in the battle against cybercrime train your managers and remote teams.
Data security is a critical issue for everyone, not just a specific industry. Take the necessary steps to protect your company’s reputation and legally secure yourself while enjoying the many benefits of remote working. Contact us to learn more about how you can stay safe in the digital age.