What’s the biggest issue you experience with a remote workforce?
There are so many perks that it can seem silly to look for a downside. However, with more employees working remotely, cyber attacks are on the rise. The uniform security of a central office has some business owners debating pulling in the hybrid work reins.
If you’re on the fence, you should know the challenges that arose from a remote workforce have also inspired new innovative solutions.
With the latest, all-in-one network and cybersecurity software from Control One and best practice protocols, your business can continue working remotely and securely.
6 Ways To Protect Your Network With Remote Workers Going Into 2023
Take these proactive measures to ensure your business’s security.
Ready to have confidence in your network security? Contact Brooks IT Services today!
1. Train Your Employees To Use Best Practices
Even the most tech savvy individuals need security refreshers every once in a while. Rather than assuming that anyone is fully versed in all aspects of IT security, you should train your employees. Moreover, implement best practices protocols.
Then, document everything in your standard operating procedures (SOP) for onboarding and ongoing guidance. Your protocols may include:
- Use secure internet only
- Never connect to public WiFi
- Don’t share your WiFi password with anyone outside your home
- Set up temporary WiFi passwords for guests or don’t share at all
- Don’t share your devices
- Always use your own devices when logging into business accounts
- Use secure passwords and change them every 3 months
Refer to your MSP’s comprehensive security assessment, so your best practices ensure the highest security.
2. Install & Regularly Update Defensive Software
Anti virus? Check!
Anti spyware? Check!
Anti malware? Check!
You have it all, that’s great! But are you updating the software regularly? If not, it may not be doing you any good.
The companies behind the types of defensive software employ a team of experts who are constantly researching the latest cyber threats. The point is to send this new information to users (like you) so that your devices and programs will be best protected from the latest viruses.
If you’re not updating your defensive software regularly, then it’s not receiving this new information. The result? You and your network are left vulnerable to infamous hackers’ latest and most innovative viruses and scams.
3. Sign Up For Control One With BITS
As an MSP, Brooks IT Services is able to make more of our time and expertise than ever before. Our new service offering, Control One, is literally changing remote workforces for the better. The days of VPNs conflicting with programs and slowing productivity are over.
Now, Control One provides network and security solutions in one cloud-based software. This means no more conflicting software and delays in productivity.
Furthermore, this cost-saving software allows your MSP to monitor your entire network with ease. Meaning, you can rest easy knowing that any potential hackers or viruses will be caught and weak spots patched before any damage can be done.
Tired of juggling several different security and network solutions? Reach out to Brooks IT Services today to learn how Control One can save you time and money.
4. Use End-To-End Encryption
If you don’t like the idea of a complete stranger reading all your online communications, then you need end-to-end encryption.
It works by scrambling messages in transit from one location to another. Only the sender and recipient have the key to decrypt the message. So even if a hacker gains access to your communications, they will only have a scrambled message.
As a rule of thumb, add end-to-end encryption if your communications include the following:
- Financial information
- Trade secrets
- Personal data
Moreover, it’s important to do your due diligence when it comes to encryption. Because, like most things in IT, not all encryption methods are created equal.
The 3 most common types of encryption include:
AES is the most popular for sending and receiving classified data by governments, security organizations, and other businesses. However, it’s not exactly foolproof.
To ensure your utilizing encryption to the best of its ability, you should follow these best practices:
- Only trust your data with people who are transparent about their encryption method
- Back up data with an image backup before enabling encryption
- Use a strong password and pin
- Encrypt your WiFi with WPA3 (not WPA2)
- Stay up to date with encryption news as they tend to phase out once compromised
5. Implement Phishing Training & Protocols
The best way to keep your business safe from phishing attacks is to train your employees (and yourself). The few takeaways from training should include the know-how to:
- Identify suspicious communication (email, text, phone call, DM, etc.)
- Not to click on suspicious links
- Report the communication and link to the appropriate person
If you can cover these three bases, you should be mostly okay. However, phishing scams are prevalent. Your best line of defense to protect your small business is to outsource an MSP with a 24/7 helpline.
The Brooks IT Services team differs from an in-house IT expert in terms of expertise, affordability, and availability. For instance, if you employ an in-house IT expert to handle all your network and security, what happens when they call in sick? Moreover, everyone deserves a vacation. What will happen when your one and only finally cashes in on their well-deserved PTO?
At BITS, we have a team of experts available to you around the clock. Because we know that small business owners don’t stick to regular hours. So, yes, even if you intercept a phishing email or notice a breach at 3am, we’ll be there for you.
Furthermore, we offer phishing training to our clients to help you and your employees protect yourselves. We will even do covert operations to ensure the training is effective. For example, we will send a phishing email to see who opens it, clicks on the link, and who reports it. Anyone who doesn’t follow proper protocols will be asked to complete further training against phishing.
6. Cover Webcams When Not In Use
Have you ever looked up at your webcam and got an uneasy feeling? Hollywood has hyped up the power of the webcam. Unfortunately, it’s not a fictional fear.
In fact, hackers are known to access webcams to spy on their victims. It doesn’t get much more creepy than that!
In early 2022, a software engineer was convicted after using malware to steal private chat histories and spy on young girls via their webcams. Thankfully, he is now in prison. But it would be naive to assume the risk is over.
In this influx of remote and hybrid work, webcams are a must for video calls and meetings. However, you can help protect yourself and your employees with some webcam best practices:
- Physically cover your webcam when not in use with a sticker or webcam slide
- Don’t trust the indicator light, always act as if someone is watching
- Disable the microphone when not in use
- Install defensive software and update it regularly
Moreover, talk to your MSP about protective measures to ensure your remote workforce has all the tools to keep webcam hackers at bay.
BITS Is Here To Keep Your Remote Workforce Secure
Living on a wing and a prayer may sound spontaneous and fun. But in reality, it’s naive and dangerous. Without proper security measures and an expert to monitor your network, it’s a matter of when not if your system will become the victim of a hack.
Brooks IT Services works with Houston small business owners like you to provide quality IT solutions and security. Furthermore, we keep your budget in mind using scalable solutions like Control One.
Position your small business with success and get BITS on your side. Contact us today to get started!