Nearly 4 million workers in the U.S. telecommute at least half the time. That means businesses have to adjust to an increasingly mobile workforce. While this offers plenty of flexibility for employees and cost savings for businesses, it can lead to a variety of security issues.
When it comes to security, you need to be secure in the way you deal with your customers so that you don’t lose those valuable relationships. That means securing your data from hackers and other threats not only in the office, but for those who work for you remotely.
Here are some tips for addressing security issues when you have remote or multi-location team members.
Determine Policies- Your team might not all be working in the same space, but you can still set workplace rules for them to follow. For example, you might have a policy against using public Wi-Fi to connect to your company’s network. Or you could require strong passwords or two-factor authentication on all accounts. Identify the threats that are most likely to plague your business and then create guidelines to help your team avoid them as much as possible.
Consider Cloud Storage – The written messages and documents that you use to collaborate can also go onto the cloud. This gives you a way to clearly see and manage all interactions with customers, while enforcing team security policies.
Require VPN connections- One policy that’s a good idea for all businesses to adopt is the use of a VPN (virtual private network) to connect to company networks. Hackers can snoop on connections made over Wi-Fi, which is a major concern for companies that don’t have all of their devices physically connected to a network. A VPN can greatly reduce those risks.
Encrypt Devices – If you provide your team with laptops or cell phones for work use, make sure they’re encrypted. Encryption basically encodes the data on the device so it’s harder for hackers to access. It’s not a completely bulletproof solution, but it can provide some peace of mind for companies that aren’t able to monitor their employees in person throughout the work day.