Maintaining Data Security When Managing a Remote Workforce

In the era of social distancing, those businesses that are able to leverage the power of a productive remote workforce are the ones who are able to lead the economy into a digital age. But with a remote workforce come unique challenges. How do you maintain data security while managing a remote workforce? Read on to find out.

Increasing Productivity and Security with VPN

One of the reasons that many businesses had previously made the switch to a remote workforce is because there is a marked increase in the productivity of remote hires. For those professionals able to set their own schedule, work from their own preferred locations, the time that is spent getting the job done is more focused and productive. There are fewer distractions and workers remain more engaged. Having a team working in a different time zone can help your business stay productive on a 24-hour shift. But if those remote workers don’t have access to the network, they might very well struggle to do their best when their resources are restricted. Also, you risk valuable data loss or vulnerability to hacking by relying on a remote team.

Again, VPN is the answer. It provides secure access to the internal network that remote employees need to be productive day in and day out. It furthermore limits risk by ensuring a secure connection while giving your remote workers access to the resources they need. Making sure that remote workers have access to the right information and resources via your internal network is critical but it must be provided with the data security to ensure your sensitive information is kept safe. But with VPN, data security is protected while your workforce can stay in touch just like any other employee.

Careful Document Disposal

Remote workers inevitably create hard copy documents and records that can be a risk if they are not disposed of properly. To protect your business even when working with remote workers, make sure that such documents are shredded (both horizontally and vertically so that reassembly is next to impossible), incinerated, or pulped so that no information is available to unauthorized viewers.

When it comes to digital files, don’t forget to be equally thorough. Simply deleting the files is not enough. Until that space has been written over, the possibility of recovering data still exists. Similar to shredding important paper documents, one way to ensure that your personal information is not easily accessed is by “shredding” of the individual files on the hard drive. There are a variety of software programs that can shred files, but it can be confusing to know which one is right for you.

While it can be difficult to make sure that mobile employees are following the rules one hundred percent of the time, training them and providing them with the tools they need to be as secure and safe as possible is a clear win for your business. To make it a priority for everyone, make sure you highlight the importance of information security for your remote workforce.

Monitor the Use of Unsecure or Public Wi-Fi Connections

If you know your remote workers are going to be on the road or connecting from public access points, as noted above, a VPN is critical. Wi-Fi connections (in business lounges, on trains, in coffee shops, etc.), can lead to data breaches. But the use of unsecured Wi-Fi is more common than ever. Our recommendation is to encourage remote workers to always connect to a trusted network, use VPN, and never use public Wi-Fi for sensitive information as this can be a critical vulnerability for those working from home.

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