In a time when more businesses than ever are transitioning to a remote work environment for the long-term, one of the most significant business operations that will change in scope and demand is your company's cybersecurity. Protecting the integrity of your company's network from threats of all kinds takes careful preparation, consideration, and expertise. Understanding how you can ensure your company's data security is the first place to start, especially when it comes to preventing not only unauthorized data breaches but also ransomware attacks and similar threats. Here's a look at some of the things you need to consider when you're securing your company's network.
Stay Current With Software Updates And Patches
One of the best lines of protection against most vulnerabilities to your company's network lies with maintaining your software. Every software platform, from your operating systems to your company's operational platforms, should be kept updated not only on the servers but also on each individual workstation.
In a remote work environment, this is a bigger challenge. One of the best things you can do when you transition to a remote work environment is to require your employees to use their company-issued laptop or desktop at home. This ensures that you have full control of the software security on the device. Home computers are a security vulnerability when you don't know what software patches have been applied.
Work with your IT staff to ensure that every computer that connects to your VPN is tested for the necessary security patches and version updates before it is allowed access to the network. Additionally, ensure that your IT staff stays abreast of these security updates and completes an automatic update push to all company computers as necessary.
Enhance Your User Authorization Procedures
Especially when businesses transition to a remote environment, user authorizations on the network can become a serious concern. When your network connections are coming from a variety of areas, as happens when your employees work remotely, you don't have the physical in-the-office verification that the user signing onto the network is, in fact, the user that belongs there.
That's why you should incorporate multi-level verification for users signing onto your company's VPN network. Talk with your IT security professional about different options for two-factor authentication. An additional level of authentication will ensure user validation each time, but only when it is implemented properly and required as part of the sign-in process. Select an authentication option and ensure that your IT staff implements the system right away to enhance security.
Monitor Data Usage And Network Access
Another important part of your cybersecurity plan when you have a remote working operation is keeping tabs on what's happening with your company's data, and who is using it. Your IT staff should be able to implement a monitoring system that will log all user sign-ins, all data accessed, and any information downloaded or uploaded.
This tracking is essential when your workers are spread out in a remote work environment because, without it, you have no true way of understanding what is happening with your company's data, so you can't be sure that it and your network are truly secure.
Take time to review the access and data usage reports on a regular basis so that you are informed at all times of what's happening on your servers and who is accessing them. The better informed you are, the better protected your company's data will be.
These are a few of the core considerations for your company's cybersecurity now that you're transitioning to a remote work environment. Work with your IT staff or retain the services of a cybersecurity professional to ensure that your company's data is protected.