Remote Work Cybersecurity Practices: How to Ensure Data Security

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remote work cybersecurity practices to ensure data security

Virtual teams and remote work have become a new norm for businesses globally, and in Malaysia, too many businesses are preferring virtual teams and remote work environment weighing the benefits of the system.

However, to reap the potential benefits of remote work, the role of information and communication technology systems has a significant role.

Unlike the conventional work environment, the remote work environment has more threats to data security.

Unless there are robust information security practices followed in the remote work environment, the challenges remain high.

Post-pandemic, the quantum of cybersecurity breach has gone up significantly, and more such breach is reported in companies working in remote work environment.

The prime reasons for such challenges can be attributed to how the remote work teams need connectivity to information systems of the organization and there is a dependency on the internet technology for managing the operations.

The exposure of information systems to the internet connectivity and external environment compounds the scope of data security challenges.

Non-strategic and unplanned kinds of remote work conditions often end up in poor remote work infrastructure, wherein the vulnerabilities are high for information security conditions.

A coherent system in terms of data-access policy and working on awareness to the employees over the remote work-related IT infrastructure usage policy is important for data security.

Related: Most common remote working cybersecurity risks

Data Security in Remote Work Context

In the conventional workplace setup, businesses for their information security relied on the walled-garden approach.

Very restricted kind of access to the data servers, and limited exposure to the sensitive data over internet communications was the working model.

With the current trend changes, wherein businesses are focusing on digital enablement and are relying more on information systems and e-business solutions for business.

In addition to the digital enablement, when the remote work teams are combined with the systems, more resources of the organization are working from remote locations, and the need for data security is high.

For instance, businesses are working over the cloud solutions like SaaS platforms, the scope for remote work teams to access the systems from anywhere anytime, and business continuity is in place.

The intrinsic challenge in the process is that the traditional access control measures for data security in an office environment, will not be resourceful for information security practices in the remote work environment.

There is a certain element of risks integral to such remote work environment access to the cloud applications, for managing the data security.

Some of the best practices for managing the data security, that can help the businesses preferring remote work for the teams are as follows

Integrated Workplace Policy 

In a conventional work environment, the workforce activity and the technology systems could be seen in classification, but in the case of the remote workers, the businesses are relying on the information and communication technology solutions heavily, and the information security in such scenarios are an integral part.

A strategic aspect of developing the long-term remote work environment is to develop a remote work policy.

Defining in precise terms the remote work policies and how every member of the organization adheres to such information security practices.

The policy framework should have detailed inputs on the acceptable work schedules, communication standards, the process, and standards to be necessarily followed by the remote work teams for accessing the information systems.

Devices, systems, and network compliance to certain standards play a vital role in information security in the remote work environment.

For instance, directions to the users not to rely on public computers or public Wi-Fi solutions for accessing, and the systems preventing any unsecured access to the systems can be a framework for data security.

The policies though could be broad range and should work on non-compliance, security practices, and data accessibility regulation rules, to help in managing the data security as part of the remote work environment.

Designing the Remote Working Environment

A remote work environment can be significant only when the concerns on information security practices are addressed properly.

On a macro front, businesses should have a strategic plan in place to secure the whole process of a remote work environment.

The focus should be on improving the communication interface, identifying the secured channels for communication, and ensuring there is authorized control access for the information systems is important.

Working on the onboarding process, providing orientation on the systems, policies, and technologies used as integrated systems for information security, the role of users on how they should be aware in using the information systems, working on secured networks like VPN, etc.

When the briefing and orientation to the remote works are evident, the scope for securing the data security increases.

Remote Access Infrastructure – Establishment and Management 

Businesses must ensure there is a proper ecosystem of communication systems, information access controls integral to the remote work environment.

If the businesses fail to establish a secured system and insist the remote work teams be tight on the information access, there could be many challenges for the businesses towards achieving the remote work objectives.

It is important to understand that in addition to the human element, there are various aspects to information security.

The need for developing infrastructure designed as a proper ecosystem of security, accessibility, and reliability is important for having the successful engagement of remote work environment.

Information security Integration 

Remote work teams can be potential development for businesses, however, there is a need for setting up the proper IT infrastructure, and periodically auditing the systems that can help in improving the information security and overall process efficiency.

Some of the key IT elements that can be helpful for remote work teams are

  • Developing VPN systems for the Information Access
  • Working on End Point Security solutions
  • Encryption tools and practices
  • Secured ICT infrastructure
  • IT security audits periodically

Following the above set of cybersecurity information security practices can help businesses in leveraging the remote work environment outcome.

To know more about the tools and techniques for cybersecurity in the remote work environment, reach out to Exabytes Malaysia for significant solutions.

Related articles:

Why Hybrid Workplace is the Future of Work Trends in Malaysia

Top 5 Industries Should Switch to the Hybrid Workplace Model

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