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Remote Work: How To Protect Your Company From Security Breaches?
THE POST-COVID WORKPLACE HAS BROUGHT NEW CHALLENGES
The workplace has changed a lot since the beginning of the year 2020. With the dematerialization of tasks, new jobs increasingly oriented towards digital, and an increased demand from workers for greater flexibility, recent years have seen the number of professionals working remotely increase considerably. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, “Approximately four in ten Canadian workers are employed in jobs that can likely be done at home”. In Canada, lockdowns have resulted in nearly 5 million professionals having to work from home, more than 3.3 million more than before the pandemic. Although this number has declined slightly since September, the changes brought by the pandemic are likely irreversible and the trend that had been in place for years has simply been boosted by the events of 2020. The companies involved have had to face new challenges, for which many were unprepared. With security breaches being one of the, if not the greatest threat to any organization, many companies’ security policies and measures were found to be inadequate at a time when they needed the most protection. In this article, find out how to prevent your company from security breaches.
SECURITY BREACH AS A GROWING THREAT IN 2020
With little or no supervision, the chances of malicious employees attempting to steal their company’s data have increased considerably in 2020. Whether for financial gain or to damage their company’s image, a bad-intentioned worker may be more tempted to take action in the security of their living room rather than behind their desk surrounded by colleagues and supervisors.
While there is no denying this threat, let’s take into account the fact that the vast majority of data theft or data loss is actually the result of negligence and failure to comply with the most essential security measures to be put in place when one is not working from the office.
For example, leaving one’s computer open to the view and disposition of everyone passing by, or having personal use of work devices. Browsing social networks or logging on to Netflix, even outside of work hours, with a work computer or cell phone can be dangerous. All you have to do is click on the wrong advertisement, the wrong link, open the wrong email. In addition, since personal Internet networks are far less secure than corporate networks, we are far more at risk of having our devices hacked from home than from the office.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR COMPANY’S DATA?
Ensure Network Security
Two essential things: First, it is important to remind your employees to never use public wifi. Public and free networks are insecure and leave the door open to security breach. Second, it is the company’s responsibility to ensure the security of its own network. To do this, it is essential for the IT department to monitor the updating of antivirus, firewalls and software used by employees. It is also highly recommended to set up a virtual private network (VPN) to guarantee the protection of your data. With a VPN, you will be able to better control the security of your data and those of your customers by implementing multi-factor authentication to access your network.
Provide the Necessary Devices
Each employee should be able to work with company-supplied equipment such as computers and telephones as required. This will allow you to properly control and ensure the technical security of your network and will not encourage your employees to mix personal and business use of electronic devices.
Be Transparent and Educational
If you haven’t already done so, it is imperative to ensure that your data security policies are up to date. Every employee should have read, signed and understood all company policies (updated regularly) regarding information and data security, non-disclosure agreements and the use of company-owned electronic devices. Check out our article on Why You Should Establish a Remote Recruitment Procedure in 2020 for additional information on best practises.
It is your responsibility to provide security training to your employees at time of hire and at least annually (or more often as is reasonable for your circumstance) and to remind them of certain key security points on a regular basis. While it may seem obvious to some people that you should not click on a link in a suspicious e-mail sent from an unknown address, a careless mistake can happen to anyone, and it is important to ensure that your employees do not let their guard down.
A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY
In conclusion, the security of your company’s data is a shared responsibility. The company must provide its employees with the means and knowledge necessary for them to implement appropriate actions to prevent security breaches.
Mintz Global Screening recommends keeping your employees working from home informed about the various risks of security breaches or data loss and supporting them by giving them the tools necessary to prevent this type of threat. This is essential to ensure your compliance with legal requirements and to make certain that you have implemented all the necessary actions to protect your data, those of your employees and those of your customers.