in Design

Are you sure your network is safe? 4 steps to ensure the workspace security

The unexpected shift towards remote work caught many businesses off guard. Along with the challenges related to the productivity of telecommuters and technical difficulties like a slow internet connection or power outages come the security risks. The latter ones are fraught with sensitive data leakage, with later extortion or reputation loss. That’s why you need to address the security concerns to ensure the proper functioning of your company.  

Let’s have a look at the steps businesses can make to protect their remote employees:

Secure workspace environment 

First of all, you need to ensure secure data access and sharing, so adopting an online file server for these purposes will significantly improve collaboration on files reducing the time for loading the assets and synchronizing changes that were made. Another important step is arranging the proper user authorization system to limit access to internal resources like financial reports, staff assessment, and other sensitive data. Services like Active Directory allow assigning roles to different system users to automatically define the set of internal accesses based on these roles. It also fixes the issue with weak passwords setting up the requirements towards their strength, automatic rotation, and history. Protection on the network level to avoid external DDoS attacks that can bring your websites and will also add more security to your network. 


Minimizing risks for external connections

For remote employees, it’s common to use cafes, hotels, and other public hotspots that can become easy targets for hackers to steal passwords, credit card details, and other sensitive info. It becomes possible with man-in-the-middle attacks during which the client-server session is eavesdropping and the data is stolen on the go while users believe they communicate with the legitimate source. In order to reduce this threat, it’s critical to protect the access to your workspace by enabling VPN adding the additional layers of protection like 2FA or OTP. 


Personal device usage

It’s common for small businesses to allow employees to use their personal devices. This practice is commonly known as Bring-Your-Own-Device (or shortened BYOD). Unfortunately, the majority of people do not treat personal security seriously that’s why they may use weak personal passwords or download data from unofficial sources that can install malware and adware to their computers. Using such devices for connection can be dangerous for your network. So having your security specialist compiling the requirements for the allowed devices, like the checklist of security tools installed (including OS version, anti-virus software, firewall, and so on). Additional regular audits of personal devices to make sure that they correspond to the security standards. 


Raising security awareness

Social engineering and phishing are not new trends, as they are threatening people as long as the internet exists. However, during COVID-19, when emotional stability is disrupted, it’s easier to exploit human vulnerabilities. These can lead to unauthorized access for data exposure or malware infections to destroy the system. That’s why encouraging your employees to learn about safe internet behavior and counteracting attacks through cybersecurity courses, webinars, and internal company documentation will minimize the risks of human hacking. Regardless of how much you invest in technologies, if there’s a human factor involved, you need to introduce security-related procedures like customer verification or providing any internal data only via working messages. 


Embracing these security practices is not an overnight process, so it can take a while to establish the infrastructure and get your employees to adapt to these changes. Moreover, once the secure environment is established, proper maintenance and regular system health checkups are required. However, keeping your employees and systems protected justifies all the investments, as preventing costs significantly less than recovering from security incidents.