In today’s tech-driven business world, more and more companies are hiring partially or wholly remote workforces. Workers across the globe can collaborate with others, sharing skills and expertise in a real team, no matter where they’re located.
However, since not every employee is sitting in the same place on the same network, you can’t always keep a close eye on everyone’s device security. If not handled properly, cybersecurity can become a major issue for distributed teams. Below, Forbes Technology Council members share ways companies with remote employees can ensure their information remains safe.
The single most important thing that a company can do in order to secure their network(s) is to implement machine-learning endpoint security software. This becomes even more important when dealing with remote workers since the endpoint physical assets are not maintained within the company’s walls. The ML-based software will detect questionable behavior(s) and help keep your company secure. – Todd Rebner, Cyleron
Ensuring you know who a user is and allowing them access only to the resources they need is good practice in general. Once you move to a more mobile workforce it becomes a strict requirement. When the boundaries of your building and network are no longer clear, identity must become the new perimeter, and it must be closely guarded. Start with multifactor authentication and identity-based access. – Chris Grundemann, Myriad Supply
Since your remote employees will all need access to many online accounts, use a password manager to keep all of your online accounts and passwords secure. We use LastPass to store encrypted passwords online so that everyone on the team has easy, secure access to whatever they need to complete a task. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
Cloud-based software yields many advantages for remote teams. Cross-functional collaboration, independent of geography, can have enormous upsides for startups, but security still needs to be top of mind. A quick win for many organizations is to implement two-factor authentication as a standard practice on all company equipment. This relatively simple tactic keeps your systems and data safe. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC
To secure a remote workforce, establish a policy to dictate what’s acceptable for offsite work. Concerns like hardware encryption, remote wiping capabilities, GPS tracking, user management and travel protocol are just a few considerations to address in a remote work policy. A thorough policy helps mitigate risk by setting a principle for handling security concerns and incident reporting. – Sanjay Malhotra, Clearbridge Mobile
With a remote workforce, instilling a sense of brand/company loyalty can be a challenge. That’s why we always send someone from headquarters to train and work with the remote workforce for some period of time. This approach has added benefits: It makes sure your employees stay in compliance and that they don’t feel disconnected from HQ. It is worth the investment! – Abhinav Somani, LEVERTON
With software-outsourcing companies, responsibility for your project is shared. They foresee potential issues and integrate a tailored approach into their workflow to reduce risks—for example, carrying out comprehensive testing processes. Having a team of security experts on hand ensures that risks are identified early in the development cycle and can be fixed before they cause any issues. – Nacho De Marco, BairesDev
Limiting the amount and type of data is key. Allowing access to less data provides a great layer of protection. From a more technical aspect, using a virtual private network (VPN) to communicate sensitive data, email encryption, multifactor authentication, data encryption and data loss prevention allows you to protect and track data, where it’s traveling, and gives the ability to apply additional controls. – David Lefever, The Mako Group
Cybersecurity risks grow exponentially for each device that’s not locked down by a centralized IT function. Bring-your-own-device is amazing for employees, but it’s incredibly hard to manage. Adopt a robust, role-based access control framework and set up monitoring services that are powered by machine learning to detect anomalies, making sure you have rapid-response escalation paths to address them. – Kishan Patel, Kunai
Make sure to monitor the activity of remote workers closely. It will help you detect anything abnormal before an incident happens. At the same time, admit there’s no such thing as 100% security. So if an incident happens, a detailed audit trail will help you investigate the issue, remediate it and prevent similar incidents in the future. Thus, your security strategy will be more actionable. – Ilia Sotnikov, Netwrix
Cybersecurity is typically thought of in terms of hard things such as access control logs, multifactor authentication, encryption, etc. Yet, much more important to me than the hard stuff is the soft stuff. If you hire a team that is committed to integrity, honesty and trust, the team, over time, will help address deficiencies in the cybersecurity program. Conversely, ill-intentioned people will find a way to breach. – Gabriel Fairman, Bureau Works
Original report can be found on Forbes.