Many of us have been forced to work from home during the pandemic, and it’s looking like that may not change for some, even as vaccines begin rolling out across the country and the globe. This is because many businesses actually found that remote work was more profitable, helped trim overhead costs, and even made employees more productive throughout the day.
Even the incredible benefits of a remote workforce can be offset by the increase in security concerns that the new workforce model has created. Hackers have been at it since the start of the pandemic, and most sectors have seen a huge increase in cybercrimes or attempts since last year. It’s time to rethink security for the remote workforce and start taking things like passwords more seriously.
Let’s look at five simple tools that can help you secure your remote workforce and make it more productive.
1. Password Manager
Using a corporate password manager is the easiest way to store, manage, and share passwords safely and securely. Every business, even the smallest startups, should be using a password manager. Not only is it an easy tool to use, but it’s also effective. Password managers can help store passwords on the encrypted cloud, making them easy to access and safe behind the encryption. They also allow for secure sharing within an organization, so you can forget about storing passwords on sticky notes or sending credentials over email.
Today’s best password managers even include extra features like dark web monitoring, which combs the dark web to ensure no business data is present. You’ll be notified if any of your business’s credentials are found, giving you time to react and protect your business against a potentially life-changing data breach.
Did you know that a data breach can cause millions in damages for a business? That’s enough to put most businesses in the ground, and enough to completely cripple others. Target’s 2013 data breach has cost the company nearly $300 million to date.
2. MFA Tools
Some password managers come equipped with multi-factor authentication tools. These tools help secure your login credentials by requiring further authentication when you’re logging in from a different device. This helps secure your accounts by requiring the user to prove they’re the owner of those credentials. This usually involves a one-time code sent to a phone number or email. Your banking app/website probably has MFA that you’ve had to use before.
Enterprise MFA tools are crucial to the cybersecurity puzzle. Even if a hacker manages to break into your password manager or steal one password, the MFA tools can prevent a total breach. The hacker likely won’t have access to your email or phone to access the one-time code, which means they can’t use the password at all. This gives you time to react accordingly, and prevents the hacker from achieving his ultimate goal. A true win-win situation!
As technology advances, biometrics are beginning to become a standard in security. Many of our modern devices have the ability to read fingerprints or even recognize faces. Unless a hacker can steal your fingerprints or your face (that’s a scary thought), they’ll have a pretty hard time using your password. Some biometrics act as a single login credential, whereas others are combined with a password for maximum protection. Either way, we’re going to see more biometrics in the future as technology becomes more sophisticated. The only problem is that even as our protections improve, so too do hackers’ methods.
We’ve all seen the deep fake videos—AI-generated faces that almost completely mimic a human face. This can potentially cause some trouble for biometric face scanners, but that’s why using a password in combination with biometric verification is so important.
A VPN, or virtual private network, allows your company to connect every employee privately and securely to the company network. This can minimize the entry points for hackers and other cybercriminals. A more secure connection is always a good thing, and many employees will likely return to their favorite bookstores or coffee shops to work once the pandemic restrictions are lifted. This means using public WiFi, which is always a bad idea for company work.
5. Cloud Storage/Sharing
If you’re not already using a cloud storage service for company files, it’s a good time to start. The days of storing everything in a physical location are nearly at an end, and cloud services are more secure and viable than ever. Services like Google Drive provide ample storage space, tons of collaboration tools, and maximum security for everything shared within the drive.
The only drawback to these services is privacy. You have to remember that when you’re uploading company data to cloud services, that cloud service is holding the information, and so knows about it/what it contains. It’s up to you if you want your company’s data to be in the hands of another corporation.