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Dmytro Spilka



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Keeping Data Secure While Running Remote Training


For businesses and employees alike, the lines between office and home life have become blurred. In a matter of months, employees have learned to abandon their morning commutes and office desks in favour of working from home (WFH). However, this shift hasn’t been entirely frictionless in terms of remote security. 

Although there are clear benefits to WFH, 2020 saw over 1,000 major data breaches occur within the United States alone - causing the data of over 155 million individuals to become exposed. 

(Image: Threat Post)

As we can see from the data above, instances of ransomware attacks grew significantly in Q1 and Q2 of 2021. 

With hackers continually looking to take advantage of the lack of security measures prevalent with employees working from home, it’s becoming vital for businesses to act quickly to ensure that their private data is secure at all times in remote scenarios. 

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how companies can work to ensure a more comprehensive level of security when it comes to WFH: 

Limiting the Prospect of a Breach

The two most important measures a business can take in ensuring its long-term security in a WFH landscape revolve around a new working culture of thoughtful and thorough policies designed to train and educate their employees on how to keep their data safe. 

Providing education on cyberattacks, appropriate app use, and the maintaining of secure physical workspaces for employees is particularly imperative for newly remote businesses. The details of this approach will be dependent largely on the type of work your business conducts and the nature of the personal information you collect and use. 

Ensure that your workforce is fully trained in how to keep data safe while they work from home. Even if your company has already undertaken training in data protection prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s key that you implement a modern refresher as your company adjusts to the age of the new normal. 

Tapping into the Security of VPNs

Utilising a virtual private network (VPN) is a great way for companies and employees to safeguard their sensitive data from cybercriminals and employees who may be vulnerable to giving up private information unwittingly. 

“VPNs enable secure remote access, ensuring the security of business accounts and the privacy of the remote worker,” said Pablo Listingart, founder of Winnipeg, Canada-based ComIT.

(Image: Okta)

As the diagram above shows, VPNs utilise dedicated servers that can make it far easier for IT teams to manage workers all around the world. To this extend, businesses can act to ensure that all employees only ever access company servers via the use of a dedicated VPN. 

There are plenty of enterprise solutions for VPNs available, and when combined with antivirus software, VPN users can work to mask their precise location from cyber threats and keep employees safe from harm online. 

According to a recent PC Matic survey, 91% of respondents claim that they haven’t been provided with antivirus software to install on their home devices. In the age of the new normal, companies must adapt to the changing needs of a remote workforce and seek out software-based solutions that can ensure the security of their WFH teams.

Ensure Greater Data Governance

In recent years, strategic decision making has become reliant on the harnessing of data insights. HR technology helps employee data to be used more effectively for talent programmes within HR and across various business functions. 

However, the use of big data can be difficult for businesses to manage. With widespread regulations surrounding the usage of data, HR departments must acknowledge that they don’t have free reign to use all the data they have the ability to access. 

Complying with data regulations can be tricky, but remote work and the dangers of public internet connections can make the handling of big data a dangerous prospect

This calls for more comprehensive approaches to data governance. Your business must work to identify the data that it collects and where it’s stored. It’s vital that data is never stored locally on laptops or computers.

Furthermore, be sure to understand how long data is stored. Organisations, particularly those with operations in various countries or regions, tend to have different retention requirements due to local laws. By building ongoing processes to purge data that’s reached the end of its legal cycle, you can not only ensure that you stay compliant across the board, but you can also actively prevent existing data from falling into the wrong hands. 

Keeping as much HR data as centralised as possible can also help to organise archived data into chronological folders - helping users to keep track of the information they possess and manage it better can help to ensure that only the correct information is shared among remote employees and clients. 

As the world of employment changes, many businesses are facing up to a brand new remote operating model. The companies that adapt quicker in the age of the new normal stand with the best chance of ensuring that the data they use will remain in the right hands at all times.

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Dmytro Spilka


Read more from Dmytro Spilka

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