Many companies are recognizing the benefits of allowing employees to work from home. It saves on overhead costs, and boosts productivity and morale. However, there is a need to invest in the security of remote PCs, so data isn’t compromised. Traditional protection measures (like installing a software or hardware that filters emails and websites and block unauthorized users) won’t work if the employee works outside the gateway security parameter. Here are some things you can do to strengthen the security of the remote computers of your employees.
Invest in software
Your existing gateway security can only protect the computer and its contents when it is used within the company network. But when your employee is working from his home or a coffee shop (as many people do) then his only defense against viruses and other malicious internet activity is the software in his laptop.
So, invest in a software that allows employees to download updates. You can also ask your IT expert to get a security system that has a location-awareness capability. These special utilities have stronger filters and protection measures if the employee goes outside the gateway security parameter.
Set work hours
You can set up a system where employees connect to a VPN during office hours, so that they are protected by the office computer system. If not, you can use URL filtering which prevents them from accessing websites (often unrelated to actual work!) that are more prone to carrying viruses, malware, etc.
Instruct employees to use trustworthy wireless hotspots
One way that cybercriminals penetrate a network is to use a fake access point, which experts call ‘The Evil Twin.‘ That’s why it’s important or employees to use only trusted wireless hotspots. You can also protect your employees by installing security software that verifies a wireless network before connecting to it.
Why it’s worth the effort and cost
These protective measures will mean additional cost, but it’s money worth spending. You will spend thousands of dollars on lost productivity if employees’ computers crash because of a virus. You will also lose records, documents, photos. In some cases, employees will have to reconstruct work that was saved on that computer.
Think of it this way: if you had a large amount of cash in your office, it would be foolish to decide not to hire a security guard or buy a good safe because ‘you don’t have the budget.’ Well, the information and productivity of your employees IS cash: you pay them for their output, which will be lost during security attack. Protect your assets.
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