How to Keep Data Secure Whilst Working Remotely
The coronavirus lockdown has tested our ability to adapt. For many, this has meant adjusting to working from home, for others, it’s a case of experiencing life without work altogether.
With thousands of companies making the decision to operate remotely during this time, many are left unaware of the data protection risks involved. In fact, cybersecurity threats are estimated to cost companies $6 trillion annually by the year 2021. We are living in a day and age where data breaches are extremely common. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the situation to gain access to confidential data about our businesses and clients.
There has never been a time in our lives where private data has been so exposed. It’s vital to understand the steps we can take to keep our data secure.
Two Factor Authentication
Otherwise referred to as 2FA, two factor authentication acts as an additional level of security that you can add to nearly any account, whether it be Facebook, Gmail or WordPress. Once set up, your log in process would be one step longer. First, enter your username and password, afterwards, you would be asked to enter a six-digit verification code sent to your mobile phone.
Working in a similar fashion to verifying an email address when signing up to a new website, two-factor authentication takes your data security to the next level. This second factor of authentication before gaining access to the account ensures that your data is more secure. For someone to gain access to the account, they would require not only your username and password but access to your mobile phone as well.
Remote Wipe of Stolen Computer Systems
Although the coronavirus lockdown has lead to us spending a huge portion of our days indoors, there is still a risk involved with keeping our work equipment safe. In the case of a device being stolen, there must be a process in place to remove any sensitive data stored from the device. Remote wipe software removes all data in seconds, protecting the business from a possible data breach.
Remote wipe software commonly includes the functionality to lock the device, wipe the data and display the location of the device. This prevents any small scale burglary from developing into a full breach of the companies’ sensitive information.
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Train Staff For Dealing With Sensitive Data
A form of data breach that can be overlooked when improving data security is the way your employees deal with sensitive and private data. Those who work within an agency environment will have witnessed lengths cyber criminals will go to. Phishing is the most common form of cybercrime and can easily be prevented with sufficient data security training.
Data security training mainly informs the employees how to keep sensitive data private and within the confines of the organisation. Working from home is a more relaxed environment for employees, therefore, it’s crucial that they understand that sensitive data is just as vulnerable, all existing data security processes need to be stuck to and we should be mindful of how we can prevent data breaches.
As businesses choose to operate remotely, personal devices such as computers and laptops become increasingly intertwined with our daily activities. An implication of this is that our personal equipment lacks the same security software that our office equipment benefits from. The chances of data being leaked from a personal device are up to 5.5 times more likely than a device equipped with up-to-date security software.
If personal devices are to be used for the storage and processing of sensitive data, they must be using professional security software. Luckily, antivirus programs are good at keeping our devices secure. Many antivirus tests check for protection against web and email threat and prevalent malware, which are two of the most common forms of cyberattacks.
Verifying Recipients' Details
Sharing files with a third party can be a process that you required to complete as a part of your daily operations. This is an area which poses great risks when this information happens to be sensitive data. There is never any harm in spending extra time to verify the recipients before sending the private data.
Using emails to communicate sensitive information can open up the possibility of sending the information to the wrong participants. As a business, you should verify any recipients before sending any sensitive information. Additionally, you can add an email disclaimer to notify recipients of email confidentiality.
For expert advice on cyber security and cyber insurance to protect your business, contact our specialists on 0117 325 2224.