Before COVID-19 had any impact on the number of people working in the office to the number who worked from home, the percentage of employees working remotely was already on the rise. Research from companies such as Gartner, who re-examined its 2020 predictions in the wake of the global pandemic, revealed that securing the remote workforce should be the main priority for businesses now.
With this, experts agree that COVID-19 had brought about a significant rise in the levels of cyberthreat activity with the issue now in the news more often in the past year than ever before. This enormous shift of millions of people working from home every day has given cybercriminals much more opportunity to attack and exploit any weak areas. This realisation has meant that secure remote access for employees is an area that needs to be tackled as soon as possible.
Therefore, Microsoft has identified several ways that can help you secure your remote workforce and protect your data:
Utilize the Cloud
A big, business-related cloud service will be a lot more secure than anything you could personally set up. Using a cloud-based office suite will provide your business with all the basic office functions as well as a safe place to store your data.
Create a society of awareness surrounding information security
Email Phishing – where individuals or companies receive a fake email urging them to click on a link, mistakenly giving accessto personal information or to the device being used — is still a leading method of attack, especially as emailing has now become today’s main way of communicating. Teach your employees to always be on the lookout for suspicious messages. It is important to take cybersecurity seriously. You are accountable for training your staff, reducing the risk, and setting an example so regularly update and patch all systems. You can heavily reduce this risk by using Multi or Two-factor authentication.
Make Use of Multi/Two-factor authentication
Permitting multi-factor (MFA) or two-factor authentication can be one of the fastest and powerful ways to protect user’s data and identities, and an efficient means to decrease the threat of cybercrime. MFA has been accessible for all Microsoft Office 365 users since 2014, however, many small – to mid-sized businesses have not authorized it for their employees.
Make it a policy to use 2FA or MFA for all your company’s important accounts, including your office suite, any other storage or email services, and any social media accounts. Then use a mobile app or physical key for the second factor. Using text messaging, however, is risky. MFA or 2FA is an easy yet proven method of reducing the potential threat phishing can have on your organization.
For you and your business’s passwords, utilizing a password manager is the best way to reduce the risk. They will allow you to create and store long, random passwords that your employees won’t need to memorise, as the program does that for you, as well as giving you that extra layer of security.
Creating a strong information security society that stresses the importance of cyber protection as a standard should be vital in making sure your organisation is as successful as it can be. For example, staffers on a campaign are told not to take things such as illegal donations, therefore your employees should know to avoid opening or downloading unknown email attachments or clicking on links from mysterious senders.
If you are interested in going beyond just the benefits of multi-factor authentication, then Microsoft encourages you to move your company towards Zero Trust Security.
This model focuses on the assumption that your corporate firewall is a breach (whether it is safe or not) and will validate each request as though it had come from an unknown network. Each request for access will be completely validated, approved, and encoded before granting it access. It does not matter where the request began or what resources it can access, Microsoft Zero Trust teaches you to “never trust, always verify.’’
If you are interested in learning more about Zero Trust security, then click the link below and find out how you can add another layer of protection to your company’s workforce and safeguard your valuable data: