As remote working becomes increasingly popular, these tips will help keep your data secure even when your staff work offsite.
As most major industries get to grips with the new flexible working legislation, and mobile working becomes increasingly prevalent, businesses must ensure they have policies in place to help overcome the accompanying security risks.
The protection of sensitive business information, including the implementation of measures that prevent data falling into the wrong hands, has understandably become the number one priority for IT leaders when it comes to considering a flexible working or bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy.
Smartphones have become so powerful and are to store such a vast amount of data that, if compromised, they can put the whole business at risk. It’s vital, therefore, to prepare appropriately and put in place some safety measures.
Utilise mobile device management software
While you may think your mobile or tablet device is safe from being accessed by unauthorised personnel, just because you have a ‘hard to guess’ screen lock or password doesn’t mean it is fully secure. The reality is that hackers today are extremely sophisticated and have ways and means to access valuable company data.
In order to keep devices secure, it’s important to consider investing in a mobile device management (MDM) solution. This will allow you to manage devices that contain sensitive data and to remotely lock a device or wipe it completely if it gets lost or stolen.
Use a SSL VPN
Bear with me here – it’s not as confusing as it sounds. When working remotely, staff will inevitably want to access the internal information and applications they use on a daily basis while inside the office. However, it can be difficult to make sure they possess a secure connection which prevents hackers from intercepting and stealing data.
An SSL VPN is the perfect solution because it is compatible with almost every web browser, but is far more secure than the alternative method of transferring things over the Internet. The low-cost service has secure access controls in place that only authorised personnel can go through, meaning data can be transferred privately and confidentially. As well as those benefits, an SSL VPN is easily scalable if you ever have an increase in the amount of people working outside the office, if you decide to have the office decorated, for example.
Staff should avoid downloading apps
There are literally millions of apps on the market at the moment that can be downloaded in a matter of seconds. Although most of them can be trusted, there are some that staff may inadvertently download that are infected or contain malware that is known to send sensitive data to a rogue server.
The safest option for businesses is to invest in a mobile device management solution that allows you to restrict the apps your staff download via their device. This will give you complete control over the apps your employees download, as well as allow you to remotely remove unauthorised apps in order to safeguard valuable data.
Embrace the choose-your-own-device (CYOD) trend
Most businesses will have heard of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, but many won’t know about the choose-your-own-device trend. A CYOD policy still provides staff with the freedom to use devices that they know and understand, but their choices are limited to devices that are pre-installed with your respective security software and settings.
This trend makes it much easier for you to keep track of equipment and ensure staff are complying with data requirements.
Admittedly there are many other solutions available on the market, but it is important that you invest in ones that match your business’ requirements. Ultimately, the key to a flexible working policy that keeps your valuable data secure is to get the buy in from everyone involved. By clearly communicating your policy and its rules to staff, they should have no reason not to adhere to it – making your life much easier.