Protecting your business from digital breaches is challenging enough in a normal working environment, but the rapid and widespread implementation of remote working has truly thrown a spanner in the works. Staff are suddenly working from different locations, connecting through vulnerable home networks and perhaps even using their personal laptop.

The constant threat of cybercrime means securing remote working arrangements is an urgent imperative for businesses of any size and scope. Thankfully, there are numerous steps you can take to protect your business and keep your workforce productive even when working from home.

1. Ensure all staff have an antivirus program installed

Endpoint protection is the practice of securing the so-called entry points of your business network. These entry points are essentially the laptops, desktops and even mobile devices that your staff use to connect and do their jobs on a day to day basis. Endpoints are highly vulnerable to breaches if left unprotected, which is why antivirus software as an essential line of defence for these devices. While many tools can be used, it’s best to stay consistent across the business so you know exactly what protection you have in place.

2. Consider what software your team needs to use

Any job that can be performed remotely relies on some form of software, whether it’s an internet browser and Microsoft Office or a full suite of custom programs. No matter how simple or complex your software needs may be, it’s important to regularly review what you use, how it affects security and what protections it offers against potential breaches. The last thing you need is an employee using an unlicensed and vulnerable third-party program to store or transmit sensitive information.

3. Add two-factor authentication to accounts and logins

Most of the apps, accounts and software we use in day to day life require a password to authenticate a login attempt. Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, adds an extra layer to this process to further protect an account from unauthorised access. 2FA usually involves a code being sent to the staff member by SMS, email or through an app, which must be entered along with their usual password to connect. While not foolproof, 2FA is a no-brainer and can prevent breaches where passwords are exposed but the staff member’s phone or email account remains secure.

4. Use a virtual private network (VPN)

Working remotely means staff need to use their home network to connect to your business, rather than the secure infrastructure they would use at the office. A VPN is an essential form of protection that creates a private network within a public or vulnerable connection, making online activity much more difficult to trace. It’s an imperative solution to one of the biggest challenges of remote working and can easily be the difference between robust security and a serious breach.

5. Train employees to recognise common scams

A huge proportion of digital security breaches can be attributed to human error, which is why education is an important weapon in the fight against cybercrime. Massive multinational corporations have been decimated in the past by a single staff member clicking a malicious link disguised in an email. Stay informed of industry trends and train your staff to recognise common scams, particularly phishing attempts. You can even try sending fake phishing emails to assess your team’s awareness and plan training around identifying scams.

6. Talk to digital network specialists

No matter the size of your business, establishing and maintaining a robust digital security strategy can be an overwhelming task. 5G Networks has extensive experience serving Australian businesses with a range of cutting-edge digital solutions and resources to create secure, effective remote working arrangements. Get in touch to let us know your security concerns and discover how we can help your business stay secure and agile in 2021 and beyond.

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