5 Ways to Ensuring Compliance
When Working Remotely
The current “state of affairs” has presented businesses across the land with many challenges when it comes to their day-to-day operations. With every business trying its best to survive in this unprecedented climate, remote working has become a critical factor in keeping operations up and running. However, this relatively new adaptation has exposed many businesses to a whole new level of cybersecurity and compliance threats.
With bad actors preying on vulnerable home networks and work-from-home employees saving files on their local drives, the threat to business data is a real factor. According to Coverware, Ransomware Marketplace Research report, the average ransomware payment for Q2 stood at $178K. This is a whopping 60% increase from Q1’s average payment during 2020 alone.
Despite the increasing magnitude of cyber threats, organizations can still make the most of all the great solutions available to them to successfully overcome this menace even if their entire workforce is working remotely.
Security and Compliance while Working Remotely
As work-from-home became ubiquitous, most companies were forced to make haste and adapt without solid policies to maintain security standards. Even some of the top organizations are still catching up on their compliance adherence measures while facilitating remote work.
Businesses of all sizes face the following challenges:
- Reduced, relaxed security: When the lockdown started, employees took their business devices home or, in many cases, started to use their own laptops and computers to on their home networks. This poses a great threat to business data since organizations have very little control over security. Here, Business Continuity [link to our page] becomes more and more relevant.
- Inability to really enforce security policies: When operating within their own office environment, companies can ensure data security and best practices are followed by their employees. However, the scenario is vastly different with remote work. It is very possible that employees may be using home or shared networks or even public Wi-Fi connections (we all have seen people working at a coffee shop), exponentially adding to security complications.
- Inadequate backups: As pointed out above, the threat to data is significantly higher now. Unfortunately, data backup failure is quite common as well. That is why organizations need to make sure they have multiple copies of their critical data in case their remote servers are compromised. We cover this important area in our article 5 Backup Mistakes to Avoid. [link to article]
- Human error: even if most organizations follow best practices in regards to employee and clients’ data, human error is still a major threat to security and compliance. Remote employees need to be provided with proper awareness training on how to handle data and on the best practices to follow. Once more, your own team is the last and best line of defense.
5 Ways to Ensuring Compliance During Remote Work
Here are 5 ways to ensure compliance to your security policies that can be easily implemented while your team in both, an office setup or remotely.
1. Create a cybersecurity policy
If you do not have a cybersecurity policy in place already, it is time to create one suitable for remote work. This policy should cover the various steps employees need to follow at personal as well as professional levels. By establishing proper standards and best practices for cybersecurity, organizations can minimize their exposure to risk.
2. A consistent data storage policy
Without a standard cloud storage policy, employees are likely to store and handle data the way they see fit, which is certainly not advisable. There should be a shared repository on the cloud to back up files instantly from different sources. In many cases, the rogue copies that employees store on their local drives can pose a major threat to data security and create inconsistencies in storage policies. You need to make sure that data storage policies are strictly followed throughout the organization.
3. Increase remote monitoring
During remote work, endpoint management and cybersecurity policies are impossible to incorporate without the power of automation. You need a strong remote monitoring solution that manages all your endpoints and helps you adhere to compliance regulations. When you have complete visibility into the entire remote working network, you can minimize vulnerabilities and better handle security threats.
4. Employee Training and awareness
Human error occurs and proper training should be provided to employees. This training should focus on major concerns such as clicking questionable links, being wary of messages from untrusted sources, having strong passwords (or better, a passphrase as described in our article Password or Passphrase 5 Reasons to Use Passphrase [link to article]), implementing multi-factor authentication, etc.
5. The right tools
As cybercriminals and their tactics continue to evolve, you need to make sure that you use the right software tools and solutions to combat this threat. In addition to remote monitoring software, you need to use the right antivirus, cloud backup, password manager and more. You also need to make sure that these solutions are properly integrated into a comprehensive platform.
Ensuring compliance is a critical task by itself. Doing that while implementing remote working policies and procedures can be extremely overwhelming. Invest in a security solution? For sure, but which one?
We already know proper backups are paramount to protect your data, is it scalable and secure enough?