One of the most important things to consider when running a remote team is how to secure sensitive company data.
If you want to protect the reputation of your company, your company needs to protect the privacy of your customers and employees.
And having a remote team that works through different devices, apps, and platforms carries some additional risks.
In this article, we bring you some important points to consider when dealing with remote employees and confidential company data.
Many remote employees enjoy the flexibility their position offers.
As one of the major advantages of remote work, it makes them more productive and motivated.
That’s why it is not uncommon to find remote workers working at coffee shops, public transportation, or other public places.
In addition, some roles such as virtual assistants or social media management demand constant attention.
Those remote workers are usually communicating with their colleagues and clients throughout the entire day.
All of this usually means that remote employees sometimes use public networks.
Using a public network carries all kinds of risks. Even if the Wi-Fi they use seems trustworthy, you never know who might be intercepting your data.
Attackers might steal sensitive information such as log in details or distribute malware on your remote employees’ devices.
Fortunately, you can easily solve this problem by making sure your remote employees use a VPN.
Virtual Private Network
As remote work increased 159% between 2005 and 2017, new ways of improving cybersecurity developed.
When it comes to public networks, the best way you can secure your company data is to ensure your workers are using a virtual private network.
A private network allows you to create a secure connection by completely masking your identity and location.
This way, you won’t have to worry about remote employees using a public network.
One of the most popular private networks you can use is ExpressVPN.
It runs on almost every platform and its high-end encryption technologies will keep your data safe from attackers.
However, studies have shown that 49% of employees don’t use a VPN to access company data.
That’s why you need to establish this as an important policy in your company.
Personal Devices & Apps
Research shows that 41% of employees working remotely are accessing sensitive and confidential company information through unsecured personal applications.
Your remote employees are also probably using their personal devices to complete their daily tasks.
And each one of these devices carries a risk of viruses and malware.
You can solve this issue by encouraging your remote employees to regularly update their apps, secure their devices, and allow access only to trusted sources.
If your employees have up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware software on all the devices they use, the risk of leaking sensitive information is already drastically reduced.
They should also use two-factor authentication when verifying their accounts.
Most importantly, educate your workers about the importance of data protection.
These issues are not as harmless as they may seem, and a little effort in securing your data can go a long way.
If you want to make sure that you data stays safe, you can use encryption software.
One of the best tools you can use is Axcrypt.
Jay Simmons from VPN Crew claims:
“AxCrypt makes it possible for you to share your confidential files with other people and collaborate with them. In this way, you can work with other people on a secret project without having to worry that any irrelevant third party might be able to find out what you are working on.”
If you are worried about data leakage, using an encryption software can solve most of your concerns.
Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA)
The security risks are not only a threat in the digital world. Sensitive information can also be leaked by your former or current employees.
That’s why new hires are usually asked to sign non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements.
These binding contracts prevent your employees from leaking any confidential information that could harm the company’s reputation.
There are two basic types of non-disclosure agreements:
- Non – Mutual / Unilateral NDA agreement
This is a one-sided contract most commonly used between an employer and an employee. The basic idea of this contract is that only one party shares confidential data.
- Mutual NDA agreement
This is a contract in which both parties share confidential data.
NDA contracts are used to protect data such as client lists, personal information, business plans, and other information that the company would like to keep private.
You can choose to have your employees sign an NDA separately from their contract, or you can have a non-disclosure clause as a part of the regular working contract for your remote employees.
These tools allow you to collect electronic signatures and can also be helpful with automating workflows and management.
Above all, make sure to talk to your remote employees about the importance of protecting sensitive information – especially customer data.
Make sure they understand the impacts of data breaches and that they can and should always talk to you if they have any concerns or questions relating to data or information.
Now you know how to secure your company data, you can freely enjoy all the benefits that remote workers have to offer.
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