As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend daily life and work routines around the world, more and more businesses are implementing or extending remote work policies. In fact, a recent study found that 42 percent of U.S. employees are now working remotely full-time, while an additional 31 percent are doing so part-time.

This mass shift to remote work has had a major impact on how businesses approach data security. With employees accessing corporate data from home networks and personal devices, companies must reevaluate their security protocols to ensure that sensitive information is protected.

Here are a few tips for adjusting your data security strategy for a remote workforce:

Encrypt All Company Data

One of the most indispensable steps you can take to protect your data is to encrypt it. This means that even if sensitive information is intercepted or stolen, it will be unreadable without the proper key.

There are a number of different ways to encrypt data, so it’s important to work with an IT professional to determine the best approach for your business. Once you’ve decided on an encryption method, make sure that all company data — including emails, files, and databases — are encrypted.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection between an employee’s device and the company’s network. This step in data security makes it much more difficult for hackers to intercept or steal data.

By creating a secure, encrypted connection between your devices and a remote server, VPNs allow you to protect your data from hackers and safeguard your employees’ privacy. In addition, VPNs can be used to bypass geographic restrictions, allowing you to access websites and applications that would otherwise be unavailable.

If your business doesn’t already have a VPN — now is the time to set one up. Be sure to choose a reputable provider and take the time to configure the security settings properly. With a VPN in place, you’ll be able to rest assured that your data is safe and your employees can work securely from anywhere in the world.

Implement Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring employees to enter a second code — in addition to their password — when logging into company systems. This code can be generated by an app on the employee’s phone or sent via text message.

Even if an employee’s password is compromised, 2FA can help to keep corporate data safe. 2FA works by requiring two forms of authentication before granting access to data. For example, an employee might need to enter a password and then confirm their identity with a fingerprint scan. 

By using 2FA, companies can help to ensure that only authorized employees have access to sensitive data. If you don’t already have 2FA in place, now is the time to start using it. Implementing 2FA can help to prevent unauthorized data breaches and protect your company’s most valuable assets.

Educate Your Employees About Data Security

Even the best security measures won’t be effective if your employees don’t know how to use them properly. Make sure that everyone on your team is aware of your company’s data security policies and knows how to follow them.

You should also provide employees with training on how to spot potential security threats, such as phishing emails or malicious websites. The more informed your team is about data security, the better protected your business will be.

Review Your Security Policies Regularly

As the threat landscape evolves, so should your data security strategy. Make sure to review your security policies on a regular basis and update them as needed.

While it’s important to have security measures in place to protect your data, it’s also important to regularly assess your risks and vulnerabilities. By staying up-to-date on the latest threats, you can help ensure that your data is always well-protected.

Risk assessments help identify potential weaknesses in your security posture, allowing you to take steps to mitigate those risks. In addition, risk assessments can help you determine whether your current security measures are adequate to protect your data. By conducting periodic risk assessments, you can help ensure that your data is always well-protected.

Don’t Let Your Business Fall Victim to Cybercrime: Adjust Your Data Security Today

According to the FBI, there were nearly 11,000 cybercrime complaints in 2020 with losses totaling over $2.7 billion. And those are just the cases that were reported—the actual number of cybercrimes taking place is likely much higher. 

With so much at stake, it’s imperative that businesses take steps to protect themselves from hackers and other cybercriminals. SHOCK I.T. is a leading provider of managed I.T. and data security solutions, and we can help your business stay safe from cybercrime. We offer a comprehensive suite of security services, including data encryption, firewalls, I.T. support, and intrusion detection. We also offer training for your employees on how to identify and avoid potential threats. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late—contact SHOCK I.T. today and let us help you secure your business against cybercrime.