In 2020, we all experienced a drastic shift in the way we work. It was the world’s biggest remote working experiment, and it looks like it is here to stay. Compared to the pre-pandemic era, this change introduced many notable transitions for the global workforce ranging from growing inclination towards the cloud to flexible work policies.
These changes impact data security in more ways than one, and the need for businesses to stay alert is greater now more than ever before. From phishing scams to data loss, the threats businesses and IT teams now face are staggering. This blog shares some of the best practices that businesses should follow to avoid security threats while working in a distributed or remote work environment.
Why is Data Security Important?
Data security is the process of protecting the confidential and sensitive data of a company and its clients by implementing various security measures and best practices. The information a business handles, for example, financial and personal details of clients, are a goldmine for hackers, and compromising its security can lead to many problems. That is why strict data security is a crucial process as it becomes associated with your company’s reputation and financial health.
Data loss often results in reputation damage, financial loss, brand depletion, and the loss of clients’ trust and confidence. Moreover, strict rules and regulations set by the government around the security of user data make it important for every business to maintain its compliance. Let’s now see how a business can ensure data security in a distributed or remote work environment.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and a few minutes of a cyber-incident to ruin it – Stephane Nappo
6 Best Practices to Prevent Data Loss in a Remote Team Setup
1. Provide Limited Access to the Data
One of the most important ways to prevent data loss is to limit its access. While it is good to trust the people you are working with, you can not trust everyone around them.
Database hardening is one of the techniques that businesses are using to prevent data loss as much as possible. Make sure you have only services or apps installed that are crucial for your operations and limit the privileges of your employees. Only give them access to the apps they require while completing their responsibilities. You can also leverage automated tools to check the hardened configuration from time to time for any crucial updates. Additionally, you can hire security experts or coaches to audit the security of your business data.
In addition, databases often support many communication methods, including services, API, and more. While some of these methods are secure, those that are unencrypted and unauthenticated can pose a number of security risks. That’s why it is suggested to only depend on secure communication methods to avoid any unauthorized access.
2. Keep Your Software Updated
An effective data loss prevention technique is to keep your software updated. It doesn’t matter if you are a small business using only a few different types of software or if you are an enterprise-level organization using many; your software should be updated continuously.
Software updates help businesses protect confidential data that hackers can attack through security vulnerabilities. Updated software comes with security patches and features that can save you from data loss and strengthen your system’s overall security.
3. Use Encryption
One essential preventive measure to ensure data security is encryption. If a business ensures end-to-end data encryption, data protection can be done regardless of whether the data is on public or private cloud, in transit, or on-device. The main objective of encryption is to protect data confidentiality using processes like authorization, authentication, and non-repudiation.
4. Train Your Employees to Ensure Security
If your workforce isn’t trained to follow security protocols, no data security technique can prevent data loss. Human mistakes are the primary reasons behind data breaches, so make sure you hire people who are well-versed with up-to-date security techniques that will protect your confidential information.
If you work with remote teams, a security-first approach to onboarding is crucial to help new members maintain and follow your protocols. They must be provided with the right IT support for help with steps like setting up a VPN and configuring their devices. If the team you hire isn’t aware of basic security practices, it will help if you organize short training sessions to familiarize them with phishing scams, ransomware attacks, and malware.
Set up a security-first culture by educating all team members with the latest security best practices so they won’t damage your data and so they handle it securely. Additionally, plan offboarding processes carefully to handle the separation. Make sure you revoke all the privileges of former employees so they no longer have any access to sensitive data.
5. Enforce Password Management
Making sure that your employees are managing their passwords can help you avoid security breaches. Provide your employees with unique usernames and strong passwords that they should use when accessing your software platforms.
Additionally, make sure they don’t access confidential information using their personal ids or have the same credentials to access a platform when working on personal projects. To manage passwords, you can allow them to use a secure password manager application for generating strong passwords and storing them securely to ensure no data loss occurs. There are several platforms online that let you add two-factor authentication so that simply having stolen passwords won’t provide a hacker access to your important data.
6. Use Cloud Services
Cloud services keep your confidential data secure while permitting your employees to work from any location. These cloud organizations provide you access to a safe and virtual storage space where you can save your data. Your employees can access this data whenever required if they have the privileges for it.
But, again, you must be careful about password management here. Make sure your employees use strong passwords to access this data and keep it secure. Subsequently, before the cloud service handles your data, make sure you have taken all necessary security measures.
Using the distributed team model provides you many benefits like cost reduction and quality, but you need to make sure that you don’t compromise on security. Invest in IT security to avoid data breaches and to secure the confidential information of your clients. Because if your company data is leaked, it could lead to catastrophic situations, including loss of company reputation.
So, invest in cybersecurity and educate your team about security best practices if they aren’t already.
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well-versed with Best Security practices, you can connnect with Netsmartz. Offering Enterprise Grade Security & Startup Agility with our On-Demand Teams.