Free-range productivity: How to do remote working safely

25/09/2018 in

tips, remote working, productivity

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In the modern world, work doesn’t just happen at the office. With a bit of planning and a trusty Wi-Fi connection, you can take your work anywhere.

Remote working is one of the biggest modern workplace trends. It is a great tool for attracting the best talent around. This is particularly true of the younger generation. Indeed, 50 percent of millennials want flexible working opportunities and 75 percent claim remote working actually encourages productivity.

So, if you want to future-proof your talent pool, invest in remote working technology. But, as great as this sounds, there are some security issues you must overcome. Here are four safety tips to help you keep your remote, ‘free-range' employees secure and productive.

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1. Discuss password best practices

Did you know that 90 percent of passwords are vulnerable to hacking?

With subpar password management, your remote workers could be putting your business assets at risk. As a result, it’s on their shoulders to ensure they follow best practices for password creation and safety. These include:

  • Using two-factor authentication wherever possible, such as fingerprint recognition. A password alone is not always enough.
  • Creating passphrases, not passwords. The length and strength of your password is important, but it can be easy to forget. So, when creating a password use a mixture of 3 or 4 random words. This makes it difficult to guess but easy to remember.
  • Keeping track of passwords in a secure way, using tools such as password managers.
  • Change or rotate your passwords regularly and never use the same password for every account. It’s also important your router password is secure.

2. Promote physical safety

Whether your employees are working from their home office or a bustling café, it’s vital their devices are physically safe. But, as well as keeping a close eye on their work assets and locking their front door, there are other layers of security that can ensure their devices are safe.

Device tracking, for example, can allow your employees to locate their devices if they’re lost or stolen.

However, to make sure thieves are unable to access sensitive company data, we strongly recommend disk encryption. This added layer of protection keeps information secure and safeguards against the unlawful, and uncompliant, processing of data.

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3. Create an IT security policy

When you have employees across the country, or globe, conversations about cyber security aren’t always a regular occurrence.

By creating a series of IT policies, your employees can access essential need-to-know information whenever they need it. These documents should include vital procedures and regulations that discuss policies around topics like password protection, firewall and wireless security and mobile working.

Some common rules you may want to discuss are:

  • The use of public Wi-Fi networks. Ideally, your employees should only carry out sensitive work on a secure network.
  • The installation of trusted anti-virus software to help secure and scan their devices.
  • Who and where employees may share critical company or customer data.
  • The use of secure and trusted tools only, such as the Office 365 suite.

4. Educate your remote employees continuously

Technology isn’t the only answer to keeping your remote employees safe. In order to prevent breaches and hacking, you must create a culture of cyber security within your business.

Building this culture is about training and awareness. Yet, as it stands, only 45 percent of businesses offer training on data privacy. What’s more, only 41 percent educate their employees about IT security and confidential information.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should force employees to attend a single cyber security seminar. This is not enough. Effective security is not a ‘one-and-done’ deal. You need to make sure everyone in your business is aware of the potential threats they could face.

With ongoing training that is practical, engaging and that uses with real world examples employees will always think before they act and learn how to identify common vulnerabilities. In turn, this will save your business the hassle of a potentially serious security breach.

Keep remote working productive

The benefits of remote working are extensive. But, without the right safety protocols in place, your employees may be putting themselves, your customers, and your business at risk.

To ensure your company is running productively, it’s important to treat cyber security as an ongoing process and a part of your internal culture. With the right values, policies and professional help, your remote workers will be out of harm’s way.

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About The Author

David Watson

David Watson

David is managing director at Evolve and a keen runner.