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As more and more companies shift to remote work, it’s essential to ensure that your IT infrastructure is secure. Businesses, and specifically IT departments, are often challenged by the security measures required to maintain security through remote working. The compromise between flexibility, business agility, and security has never been so apparent. The decentralised nature of remote working, combined with a ‘bring your own device’ mentality results in a loss of control for IT departments, and it is those controls that protect our systems and critically our information.

There are measures which organisations can implement and enforce which will help protect the IT systems, and company information while adopting a flexible approach to remote working.

Here are the top five IT secure remote working practices that business and IT departments can adopt:

Use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs):

VPNs provide an encrypted connection that allows remote workers to securely access company resources and data. This ensures that sensitive information is protected from unauthorised access. VPN technology can sometimes be guilty of providing unfettered access to your business IT system.

To further improve your security position, Zero-Trust Network Access technology can be implemented, which reduces the IT services which people can access remotely using a VPN, restricted to what people need to perform their job.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):

MFA adds an extra layer of security to the login process by requiring users to enter a unique code in addition to their password. This prevents unauthorised access even if a hacker gains access to the user’s password.

Use Strong Passwords and Password Managers:

Strong passwords that include a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters are essential for preventing hackers from gaining access to your systems. Another popular password creation methodology is to create a passphrase or a mix or random words, case, special characters, and numbers. The benefit of this methodology is that they are long passwords, which makes the password more difficult to guess or compromise through brute force, and simultaneously easier to remember for individuals. In addition to longer, more complex passwords, passwords should also be unique for each service.

This will quite quickly become difficult to remember all the different passwords for each of the different IT services. Password managers make it easy to create and manage strong passwords.

Regularly Update Software and Operating Systems:

Keeping your software and operating systems up to date is crucial for preventing security vulnerabilities. Updates often include security patches that fix vulnerabilities and protect against new threats. In the case where staff are using their own devices, this likely remains outside the control of the business. There needs to be a level of trust that staff are keeping their devices up to date.

The challenge in this scenario is that staff may not be IT experts and updates may get missed or forgotten. An option that businesses can adopt is to enforce a policy that only permits remote working if a device is up-to-date. This is typically checked during the connection process and if the device does not meet the minimum requirements will be disconnected. While it doesn’t address the underlying issue, is to help to manage the risk of people connecting to your IT systems if their device doesn’t match your security standards.

Educate Staff on Cybersecurity Best Practices:

Employees should be trained on cybersecurity best practices to prevent data breaches and other security incidents. This includes topics like phishing, password security, and how to identify and report suspicious activity. There are many services which can help periodically train and test staff of the principals of secure working practices.

What can Matrix do for you?

At Matrix our cyber security services proactively protect your IT network, business information and employees.  We help prevent and mitigate threats and protect your systems against the latest threats and vulnerabilities. We understand that businesses face a wide range of threats to important assets, with skilled hackers targeting computer systems, networks, and people.

To succeed, the protection of your business’ confidential and sensitive information is vital and our cyber security packages can help ensure the protection of your IT systems, staff, and information. Matrix IT has the technology to adapt, detect and respond to the latest cyber security threats and provide incident response and recovery.

Matrix IT have defined three different cyber security packages for businesses with varying security requirements. Click here to take a look at our cyber security packages today!

Feel safe in the knowledge that your IT security is taken care of so that you can focus on growing your business. Don’t hesitate to contact us today via email or call us on 01329 888444.

Matrix Business IT | Company number: 10099930