Remote IT Security: 6 Tips to Work from Anywhere
Just 6 short (or long) months ago, remote IT security was not part of most business’ vocabulary. Then, businesses across all industries were faced with an immediate switch to remote work that left companies and employees scrambling.
In the days following the switch, our IT team received many calls about setting up a functional and secure remote work environment. So, we thought that sharing some of our best advice for employees might be helpful. No matter how the situation changes, we want security to be one less worry.
Read the tips below or listen to the full interview with Jon, the Braden IT Director.
6 Tips to Maintain a Secure, Remote Work Environment
Keep all software up to date
Software updates are typically automated by your IT department if you are using a work-owned device. If it is not automatic or you have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, you should ensure your operating system and applications are up to date by yourself by regularly checking for updates.
Secure your home network
With remote work, your IT department is probably not going to ensure your individual network is secure. However, you can easily keep yourself safe without much technical knowledge. Your network should be encrypted with a strong password and all smart devices using that connection should be kept up to date. Smart outlets, thermostats, and appliances can also be a potential security risk if not up to date.
Separate work and personal devices
If you have a work laptop and a personal laptop, it’s best practice not to mix the use of these. Doing work on a personal laptop is a security risk because your IT provider has not secured that device. And, using a work laptop for personal use could also be a security risk, especially if shared among family members. If your company has BYOD policy, you should default to those usage guidelines.
Set-up Two Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your organization. We also highly recommend turning this on for your personal accounts such as email, banking, social, etc… Two factor authentications can reduce the risk of credential compromise by over 90%.
Be Email Smart
There has been a dramatic increase in phishing scams recently, so it is important to pay attention to any email that is requesting your credentials. Likewise, these phishing emails may read as though they come from inside your company. If something sounds suspicious, it’s a good idea to share that email with your IT department to determine whether it’s a security threat or not.
Know your physical and network environment
You should always be aware of where you are, the information that is showing on your device, and who else can see that information. We rarely advise connecting to public WIFI because the security measures are lacking. On a public network, you would want to assume that whatever you’re doing can be accessed by anyone. Likewise, if you’re sitting in a public place, make sure anything you’re working on is not confidential or cannot be seen by others.
At the end of the day, you need to work with your IT Department to implement remote IT security measures. There are likely many tools available to you to help you feel confident and secure while working remotely. If you feel like your business still needs help, the Braden IT team is willing to offer a free consultation.