Wednesday, June 19, 2019


How To Protect Your Remote Workers.

(Akiit.com) When we think of an employee’s life in a modern day corporation, the majority of us picture an office, with a 9-5 working day, a boss a little too overconfident in his ability (we have The Office to thank for that,) and a kitchen fridge that always seems to have lunches disappear.

However, while this might be envisioned as the prime picture of modern life, it’s far from the absolute truth. For example, there’s a large chance that as the leader of a firm, you will have remote workers in your employ. Some will be salespeople, some might be those you send abroad, some might be those who are assuming the role of remote worker because of a flu they have, or a lack of need to actually come into the office.

No matter the purpose of your remote workers, it’s very important that you learn how to protect and secure their needs. If you can do this, you will be able to happily provide them with the gear you need to ensure their best efforts are followed.

For that, we would like to help you consider the following:

Secure Their Devices

It’s essential for their devices to feature a secure web gateway, and to be protected at all times. For this reason, it’s also essential to limit the vulnerabilities through choosing a device. It’s best to complete format or replace the hard drives on devices you might have purchased second hand, such as job-lot Thinkpads from a university. Preloaded software and other files can prove a security risk, and so ensuring they are completely clean before loading any of your software on there is important.

It’s essential to equip said devices with a VPN, and to ensure that correct protocol is understood. You may even take steps to shroud the device camera should it have one, and disable functions such as the microphone if they are not needed. Security vulnerabilities can come from many places, so it’s important to take a cohesive look at the device, and also at how your remote worker could be expected to use it over time.

On top of that, ensure that the device is updated fully, is relatively modern and capable for the working effort, and is not running old distros or operating systems more conducive to viral access than other devices. This goes for phones, tablets, and laptops in kind.

Password Security

Password security is an essential part of keeping your mainframe secured. Even with a VPN, your remote workers will likely connect to some kind of module to access their work. This might be a centralized module, or perhaps just an email address with permissions set to a certain standard. Even so, it’s best to avoid having any of it intruded upon.

This is why encouraging an explaining an essential password security measure is essential to keep yourself on top of things. Password security absolutely means something. Simply one special character can change the ability of a brute-force application to predict your password from a matter of hours to a matter of years. With this in mind, consider the following practice: Ensure a capital letter, a number, and a special character all feature prominently in the password. It should be around 8 characters or longer, but ideally lower than 20.

Of course, passwords such as ‘ar3f3m93n@!fein’ can be almost impossible to remember, and so this is where passphrases can come in handy. You might take a line from your favorite poem. For example, ‘a man my son’ my be well translated to ‘@ManMYS0n!.’ This is much easier to remember than the previous example, as the quirks can be measured alongside the original phrase. On top of that, you might consider encouraging your staff to switch up their password for every different login they have, and simply listing the service in that name. So you might have ‘@ManMYS0n!Gmail’ or ‘@ManMYS0n!VPNAccess’ etc. This way, if one password is found, it will give your staff time to report it and change the passwords to their other accounts.

Conveniences

Public WiFi should be avoided without the strongest of VPN’s. USB sticks should be thoroughly vetted and approved before being used, and must never be borrowed. On top of that, they are easy to lose, and so must never hold important and protected files there, when the cloud is a much safer option. Cloud access must be only logged into through the approved channels. Security is always first compared to convenience. It’s important to let your staff know that no matter if they are working from home in their pajamas or in the office wearing their most professional suit, the security standards are identical.

On top of this, public computers are a no-go, even if they leave their device at the office. You can never tell if these computers have been impeded by malicious users, and you must always assume that they are.

Allow An Easy Reporting System

It can sometimes be that with such an emphasis on the security of your systems being given, staff become worried about reporting a perceived issue to you. They might think they are taking up too much of your time, that they can settle the error themselves, or that it’s due to their bad practices. However, avoid the accountability discipline just yet. If an issue is identified, it is essential to encourage staff to come and give a crystal clear account of what happened, what they are suspicious of, and how they hope to resolve the issue.

Allowing an easy reporting system for this kind of inquiry is essential. For that reason, IT support must be on the ball, eternally reachable, and able to disseminate easy advice. This could potentially help avoid future user accounts being compromised.

When you allow for this kind of reporting, staff security becomes a team effort, rather than something draconian.

With these tips, you are sure to protect your remote workers capably and efficiently.

Staff Writer; Larry Parker


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