Top 10 Security Issues with Remote Employees
With major advancements in mobile technology and network infrastructures, remote employee security has become more critical than ever. Companies all around the world now allow their workforce to perform their duties less from the office, and more from distant locations including a home office, coffee shops, restaurants and hotels while working on the road.
This unprecedented move of allowing employees to work from nearly any location has provided the opportunity for businesses to retain their finest employees. Now they can hire anyone no matter where they reside. Businesses have developed virtual offices where the upper management can communicate daily, or in real-time, with every employee working remotely.
Decentralized and Diffused
However, the change in computing infrastructures has made remote employee security far more challenging. The systems are now decentralized and diffused, creating an open environment where confidential data needs even greater protection. Even more challenging, is the IT department’s need to manage a large array of mismatched devices that are running on different operating systems that all need to maintain the same levels of security.
Securing Multiple Devices
With the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace including smartphones and tablets, remote employee security becomes even more critical. With the ability for the mobile device to become stolen or lost, crucial data could easily fall into the hands of an outsider if not handled properly.
There are 10 specific security issues when dealing with remote employee security. Here are ten ways to securely allow you employees to work remotely:
- Protect Every Device – Malicious software that is designed to steal data often infects a computer through an email or website. To reduce the potential of malware infections always utilize the best security software and proper computer practices.
- Utilize Cloud Applications – Utilizing the features of a cloud service provider, the company can maintain a high level of security. A cloud service provider uses data encryption technology while transmitting confidential information from remote locations to the company intranet.
- Maintain a Secure Connection – Utilizing a virtual private network is the best way to ensure that all the employees Internet traffic remains fully secure. A third-party VPN service will have installed all the necessary security patches and continuously monitor for any signs of malware or infection.
- Develop Strict Guidelines – Creating and implementing strict user guidelines will help minimize the potential of a security breach from a remote location. The company should specify exactly who has authorized access from a remote location, and detail exactly what network protocols must be used. Using a remote access server that is designed specifically to manage remote location connections will make it more secure. It will prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized access through the process of continually submitting sequences of generated passwords.
- Recognize Probes – The company IT department or managed service provider (MSP) must set up a system to recognize a probe. This type of penetration is often detected by high-volume attempts from hackers working to gain access into the company system. Many times probes will generate confusion or curiosity when misunderstood by the IT department.
- Identify Packet Sniffers – Hackers often use computer program packet sniffers that capture transmitted information sent through data packets over the Internet. These packets often include proprietary company information, passwords, usernames and other pertinent data. A detected packet sniffer will usually indicate that the company has experienced a root compromise.
- Teach Employees about “Denial of Service” – Many hackers use an attack based on a “denial of service”. This provides the inability of the authorized user to gain access into their own account. This is done in a variety of ways and for a number of reasons. However, many hackers use denial of service as a social engineering tool, and can trick the remote employee into revealing their username password combination in an effort to gain access to services.
- Scan for Malicious Code – In its most basic form, malicious code will simply produce an undesired result when it is executed. However many hackers use viruses and Trojans hidden deep within the system. They can wreak havoc on the company infrastructure by causing denial of service, significant downtime, or serious compromise of confidential data. Malicious code is often the most crucial issue when dealing with remote employee security.
- When an Account Is Compromised – Any time an employee recognizes that their account has been compromised, it needs to be shut down immediately. This will prevent any more loss of confidential data, or identity theft.
- When under Attack – Not every attack comes through the Internet. Hackers often attack the infrastructure through the server, routers, and network access providers. It is critical that the company takes every effort to maintain a high level of remote employee security to protect against the risks of an infrastructure attack.
As more businesses begin to allow their employees to connect to the company intranet from a home office, hotel or other remote location, it is important to maintain high levels of security, at all costs. When functioning properly, accessing the company intranet provides workforce flexibility and higher productivity.