Cybersecurity Tips for Businesses with Remote Workers

27 November 2019

We live in a day and age where working from home is not only globally accepted, it has increasingly become the new norm.

A 2018 international workplace study surveyed more than 18,000 business professionals across 96 countries and found that 70 percent of employees are working at least one day a week outside of the office.

With most work being conducted online, it makes sense.

And studies show that working remotely  not only benefits employees by eliminating their daily commutes, it also increases productivity and leads to healthier lifestyles. Employees also take less sick time and don’t miss work due to inclement weather.

Plus, how nice is it to roll out of bed and work in your pajamas?

As with anything, there are risks that come along with working remotely, one of which being cybersecurity.

Here are some remote policy tips to protect your business and your employees from cyberattacks.


Limit Access

Although you trust your employees with access, you never know who they will be around or where they will be working. Alternatively, if your employee had access to everything and then their laptop was stolen, you may be at risk. Limiting access to documents and programs that are only relevant to the execution of their duties will help mitigate the risk.

Which leads into our next tip…


Password Protect and Don’t Neglect

Always make sure you enforce a strict password protection policy, where employees must password protect their devices with strong passwords. Employees should also use multi-factor authentication as an added level of security to protect their devices.

Employees should never open suspicious links or emails because hackers will use these to infiltrate and take over devices. Known as phishing scams, phishers commonly target employees to attempt to encourage them to click on a link or pop-up windows, leaving your computer accessible to the wrong people. Remaining vigilant and wary of emails with links and attachments you don’t recognize is essential. Clicking on a suspicious link once could enable hackers to have access to your company’s network.

Another tip: Working remotely entails that you won’t necessarily know where your employees are working. If working in a public place, they should never leave their devices unattended.

Which means…


Be Careful with Public WIFI

Working remotely is great because it means you can work anywhere: a local café, a restaurant or a library. The risk is that you may connect to public Wi-Fi, which is provided by an unknown server, so your data security is not guaranteed. Anyone can access public Wi-Fi, including hackers.

Employees shouldn’t use public Wi-Fi to send confidential information, unless it’s an emergency.


Be Wary of USB Drives

USB sticks appear anything other than ominous, but they can carry a major threat if they have been programmed to wreak havoc as soon as you plug them in. USB sticks have been known to often carry malware infections and can even be programmed to take over your PC as soon as they’re plugged in, where they can invisibly alter files from the memory stick or redirect the user’s traffic.

The problem lies in the fact that most of us don’t think much about borrowing another person’s USB stick.

Even if the device hasn’t been configured to infiltrate your computer as soon as it gets plugged in, it can still carry viruses. Never plug a USB into your computer if you’re unsure of the source and always keep your computer up to date on its security software.


Train Staff to Keep Your Data Secure

Your remote staff should always be aware of any threats they can potentially be exposed to when they go online. Training staff on existing threats and best practices is a means of protecting staff when they work remotely.


Encourage Staff to Bring Sensitive Documents To The Office

While you may not be able to control where your remote employees work, you can encourage staff to bring in confidential documents to the office. If you have a lockable security bin, they can drop off the documents for when you have scheduled document shredding or on-site or off-site shredding.


At Tri-State Shredding, we offer a variety of shredding services  to meet your needs. To find out how we can help your business, give us a call at (717) 233-5606 or contact us today.