If your business has a lot of remote workers, you’re probably embracing all the benefits: happier employees, improved retention, lower operating costs and a better use of technology. However, there are some downsides to remote working, including an increased risk for data breaches.
Data breaches are a huge problem in the U.S., with more than 100,000 serious breaches reported since 2005 according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). Of all the data breaches reported in 2019, 40 percent were due to hackers, which included scams like phishing, skimming and ransomware.
Unfortunately, remote employees are most at risk because they are susceptible to hackers. Not all employees have access to secure connections, company laptops and security training, which means they could compromise your sensitive data.
To protect your data and reputation, as well as prevent a breach that could cost millions, let’s look at some of the ways you can keep your data safe while employees work remotely.
Update your data breach response plan.
Update your data breach response plan to reflect your changing work environment. Your plan should address all new and potential risks that could occur as a result of working from home. Document the response steps your employees should follow if these risks happen.
Reassess data collection policies.
Update your IT infrastructure and reassess data collection policies. You should only collect the essential information you need – no more. Perhaps it’s time to cut down on the information you’re gathering from customers or secure this information in a different way.
Have containment strategies in place.
When a breach first occurs, you may want to delete everything, but that could hurt you in the long run. Instead, it’s best to contain the breach so it doesn’t spread and cause further damage. Containment strategies may include open communication, isolating systems, disconnecting breached accounts and blacklisting IP addresses.
Ensure employee software is up to date.
Another important step is to make sure your employees have what they need to be safe and secure. They should always use firewalls, keep their databases up to date and encrypt data using one of the main types of encryption. Also, limit permissions – only give employees the access they need to do their jobs.
Working remotely is becoming the new normal. While there are many benefits to this arrangement, you want to be sure that employees are following the rules and keeping all data secure. The best way to mitigate a breach is to ensure your data breach response plan and IT systems are up to date. For more assistance with keeping your database secure, contact Arkware today.