5 Mistakes Your Remote Team Should Avoid

By Guest Author | security | June 22, 2020

A recent report by Buffer indicates that 99% of workers prefer working remotely. With the ongoing health pandemic, that preference has become the new “norm” where people have moved the traditional offices to work remotely. This shift, though, has its limitations. For starters, working from home can put your business at risk.

There are possible mistakes your remote team could make that can hurt you.  That is why you need to be conversant with some of them to save you from cybersecurity risks that can cost your business millions. We have compiled some of the key ones you ought to know.

Using unsecured home Wi-Fi

Unlike your office environment, where your IT team can control your Wi-Fi network security, your employees’ home networks may have weaker security protocols. This can allow hackers easy access to the traffic of the network, which may lead to a data breach.

As such, you should ensure that the network used by your employees for business is encrypted using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). That means that all the information that is communicated within the organization is safe and cannot be accessed by unauthorized persons using the same network.

Clicking on insecure links

One of the top causes of data breaches is known as phishing. Usually, hackers send seemingly legitimate, although very deceptive emails with malicious links, videos, or other attachments. The hacker gains unfettered access to your employees’ devices, consequently, your business system.

Tip: Enlighten your staff on how to identify phishing emails. It would help if you also made them aware that they should not open an email that does not have a trusted address.

Using insecure file sharing tools

For the workday of your staff to run smoothly, they will need access to files and documents wherever they are, in a secure way. Your employees might put your business at risk by using tools that can give hackers access to critical data. To avoid this, you will need to use secure file sharing to guarantee data privacy that will help protect your business. You need the right tool and procedures to help you stay on top of file security

For example, encourage your staff to keep personal work and the company’s work separate. It is also smart to build a strong filing structure that will make it easy to retrieve and share the documents online.

File Sharing Tips:

Pick a service that offers end-to-end encryption. This will protect you from external hackers and also prevent the host of the data from viewing it.

Double-check your permission settings– many services allow for a public sharing option, making it possible for anyone with the link to access your files.

Run audits on your files– This allows you to see who is accessing your data and from where. If it is no longer needed, you should delete the files from your cloud storage permanently.

Using insecure passwords

Having a strong password will shun away hackers. One mistake that most staff make is to create simple passwords that are easy to crack. Weak passwords allow hackers to gain unauthorized access to multiple accounts on your system leading to a data breach. Worse still, it can lead to losses worth millions.

Tip: To prevent hackers from cracking passwords and gaining access to your systems, ask your staff to create strong passwords. Good passwords have both numbers and letters in lower and upper case, with symbols in there. They are at least eight characters in length. That will make it difficult for hackers to gain access to their systems.

Unlimited network access

Your employees are likely accessing more than they should in your business infrastructure, and frankly, it is a mistake on your side.  Giving your remote team too much access to company resources is a needless choice that leaves your critical data at further risk of a security breach. The more access the workers have, the likely it is for hackers to reach your company’s systems.

Ensure that you limit access to your company’s data to limit the extent of a potential violation.

Tip: Rather than allowing your staff to access your company’s entire database, limit their access to the specific resources that they need. For example, your human resource department staff may only be allowed to access the employees’ data and not necessarily have access to the Finance department’s data. Do the same for the team in other departments. Allow only access to necessary data by specific persons. 

However, there are times when your workers may require access to highly sensitive data. In such an instance, make sure there are procedures to access a specific system for only a certain amount of time needed to complete the task.

In a nutshell

Remote working is highly considered for its advantages, which include flexibility and saving on costs. However, it poses new challenges, especially on the cybersecurity front. To avoid falling prey for online security threats, you should ensure your employees avoid mistakes that can cost your business!