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How to Protect Your Remote Workers From Cybercrime

Many employees are thrilled about the opportunity to work remotely, and even as shutdowns are lifted, many will continue to work remotely to ensure social distancing. So how do you maintain security against threats?

Protect Your Remote Workers From Being Victims Of Cybercrime

Recent studies from some of the leading research institutions around the world have highlighted the power of remote work:

  • Productivity is increased by roughly 35-40% for employees that work from home as opposed to working in the office.
  • Employee retention is greater as 54% of employees say they would switch their jobs for a more flexible opportunity.
  • Profitability is increased with businesses saving approximately $11,000 per year, per part-time remote employee.

Many employees are thrilled with the opportunity to work remotely, especially as concerns around health and safety are present. And even as shutdowns are lifted, the new normal will likely involve a combination of some employees working in the office and some employees working from home, in order to ensure social distancing is maintained.

So how do you embrace the opportunity to work remotely without getting hacked? Naturally, a home workplace tends to be less secure than an office workplace due to the following:

  • Less enterprise-grade security measures, including firewalls, anti-virus software, intrusion detection software, and more.
  • Less oversight into employee behaviours, such as browsing on the internet or using unauthorized file storage solutions.

How Do You Keep Your Remote Workers Secure Against Cybercrime?

Although remote work is incredibly beneficial for employers and employees alike, it’s important to make sure it’s done in a secure manner. Our biggest recommendation is to talk to your remote workers about their devices ahead of time. All of the security measures in the world won’t necessarily help if they’re working on antiquated, outdated computers. We suggest the following:

  1. Ask for specifications: Be aware of the type of device they’re using, how old it is, and whether or not they’re keeping it maintained in terms of updates and patches. It’s also important to know what operating system they’re running to determine if it’s out of support.
  2. Talk about the signs of infection: They may already have a malware infection on their device, which would be dangerous if they’re accessing corporate resources. They should be aware of the signs, such as slow performance, strange pop-ups, and new programs installed, so they can clean or upgrade their device if needed.
  3. Provide corporate-owned devices: If necessary, you may opt to provide corporate-owned devices for work purposes. Although this can be costly, it’s much cheaper than the aftermath of a data breach that results in legal action and/or non-compliance with regulations.

How To Ensure An Optimal Level Of Protection

Once you’ve addressed devices, here are a few tips to keep those devices, and in turn, all of your corporate resources safe:

  1. Use enterprise-grade security solutions such as anti-virus, web filtering, a firewall, and other preventative software to mitigate risks. A layered approach is always best to prevent unauthorized access.
  2. Avoid public wireless networks as they tend to be rather risky and vulnerable to threats. If you must use a public wireless network, make sure you’re using a virtual private network (VPN) to access it.
  3. Set up a proper workspace that helps you prevent any sort of accidental risks, such as a child pressing random keys or another adult in the home viewing sensitive data. This is vital to prevent any sort of loss.
  4. Enforce a remote work policy that outlines who can access corporate resources, what cloud-based solutions are allowed, and best practices relating to passwords and other measures.
  5. Keep your work devices to yourself rather than allowing kids, spouses, and ultimately, anyone else to use them. This is key to preventing any sort of unauthorized access or dangerous behaviour that could lead to an infection.

For more assistance with setting up security measures for remote workers, click here to get in touch with one of our representatives or call us at (416) 256-9928.


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