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Security tips and recommendations for remote teams

In today’s world being an effective remote worker is a must for many professions. Working from home or while traveling can be both challenging and rewarding, however, we don’t always realize that such freedom comes at the price. Often times we, as remote workers, put ourselves and our employers at risk because of the severe liability of potential damages through data losses and security breaches. As remote workers are usually the first to face security threats or cause network security incidents. Here’s a quick guide on protecting yourself and your organization’s data against common cybersecurity threats while staying mobile, agile, and productive. 

Top 12 to remote work security:

  1. Avoid using public Wi-Fi. If absolutely necessary, use some way to encrypt your network connection, such as a VPN. Or use a personal hotspot from your phone instead.
  2. Keep all your devices and applications updated. Activate automatic updates whenever possible and install all recommended updates regularly.
  3. Use strong and unique passwords and set up two-factor authentication whenever possible. Use a password manager for storing passwords, generating new secure ones, sharing passwords with others if/when needed. 
  4. Keep your files and services on the cloud. Cloud applications like Office 365, Dropbox, Google G Suite, Zoom, Salesforce, Slack, Jira, DocuSign, etc. have built-in security features that are compliant with industry standards. They also make it easier to backup and restore your data.
  5. Keep work data, files and login credentials on work computers and keep personal tasks off your business laptop.
  6. Log out of the websites, portals, apps, or software while not in use. Always log out of your device, lock it or put it in a sleep mode when you get up or leave.
  7. Don’t use random USB drives and/or public charging stations. If you absolutely need to charge your device and the only option is an unknown USB port, use a USB data blocker to protect your device against the malware. 
  8. Don’t leave your work laptop unattended and never leave your work computers or devices in a vehicle.
  9. Secure your home router. Change the name of your home network, create a new strong password, keep your router’s software up-to-date, turn on the firewall.
  10. Activate built-in firewalls on your devices. Your device’s operating system will typically have a built-in firewall. Both Apple and Microsoft have a firewall that can be enabled on any of their devices. 
  11. Enable hard drive encryption on your devices. This will protect your data in case if your device gets lost or stolen. 
  12. Look out for phishing and scams targeting remote workers. 

If your work device was lost or stolen, if you have any concerns about your setup and data security, and/or if you suspect that company data has been compromised, report it immediately by notifying your IT/admin/security team.

Useful links:

Telework security basics from NIST

Other articles on cybersecurity

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

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