We live in an age where business is no longer limited to the hours of nine to five or to the boundaries of the office environment. Advancements such as cloud computing and associated software like collaboration suites have made remote working easily accessible for almost any employee of almost any company.
All of that is great for efficiency and for productivity but does also add an extra concern for small business owners to keep in mind. That concern regards how ensure the security of devices when they are used outside of the office and as a result the safety of any business network or data which may be accessed. In a climate when new threats to cyber-security emerge almost daily, such safeguarding of mobile devices is clearly absolutely crucial and that’s why we’ve compiled the following top tips.
Guarding the Human Element
Arguably the biggest risk to your company’s security through remote working does not stem from a particular mobile device or technology but instead comes from the humans who are using them. One of the most common ways in which working outside of the office can give rise to data loss or a cyber incursion is if yourself or a member of your staff mislay a device or have it stolen and it is then used to wreak havoc.
With that in mind then, it is important to do everything that you can to ensure that all devices are as well guarded against potential threats of this type as possible. Insisting that all devices which are used to access company networks or data are password protected is a must therefore, and enacting other security solutions makes sense too.
Some of the most potentially effective of those further measures are widely available and are software solutions which allow you to locate, remotely lock or even wipe any device which may have been lost and therefore pose a security risk.
As useful as those solutions are however, the most effective way to guard the human risk element of remote working is by making sure that any staff member who will be trusted with the ability to work remotely is properly trained and educated. That means drilling them in security best practices and implementing rigid remote working policies.
Sensible Connectivity Choices
As part and parcel of the aforementioned best practices, it also makes sense to always make informed connectivity choices when working remotely. Connecting to public Wi-Fi in order to access a company network and potentially view or even transmit sensitive information is known to be a risky business. Hackers can connect to the same network and therefore get a leg up in their attempts to access your information and that is not something anyone wants to happen.
It makes sense therefore, to take steps to avoid that particular risk and there are a couple of simple ways that you can do just that. Those steps involve in investing in either a virtual private network (VPN) or in a mobile hotspot. A VPN creates a kind of protected tunnel for your data to travel through when connected to a network whilst a mobile hotspot offers internet connectivity on the move without the need for unsecured public Wi-Fi. Both therefore, provide an excellent extra layer of protection against potential cyber-security breaches and data loss.
At EC-MSP we are dedicated to educating small businesses about cyber-security and other technological solutions to their day to day problems, and if you need any further advice our friendly professionals are just a phone call away.