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10 Security tips to keep remote workers and businesses safe

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The world is evolving and adapting to a more digital landscape. Employees have the freedom to work from the convenience of their own homes. At the same time, businesses are able to reduce costs associated with office space rental. The paradigm shift for service teams has been rapidly evolving with technologies such as AR-based remote visual support. Solutions such as AIRe Link enable technicians to remotely resolve customer issues from anywhere in the world. 

It makes sense some field service teams are taking full advantage of the benefits. For instance, some allow their technicians to conduct operations from the comfort of their own homes. Their employees no longer have to worry about commuting; therefore, no longer start work late due to traffic. AIRe Link enables visual assistance to be provided remotely from anywhere in the world without compromising on the quality of service to customers.  

10 Security tips for remote workers

It should be kept in mind; remote workers have the potential to expose your business to new security risks. For the majority of service teams, the benefits outweigh the new potential risks associated. Not to worry, we have field service teams covered with tips organisations can utilize to reduce the risk new security threats pose to remote workers and their businesses. 

1) Secure all devices with anti-virus

All devices remote workers utilize should be secured with a strong anti-virus program. Viruses not only pose security risks to remote workers, they also pose a threat to connected networks like business servers. Without a secure anti-virus, the risk files could be stolen, damaged or encrypted by viruses is greatly increased. It’s best to secure all devices used for work with a good anti-virus to stay protected.  

2) Use GDPR-compliant applications

For businesses operating in Europe, keeping data safe and business procedures in line with GDPR regulations is essential. Recently big banks were fined for their usage of unsecured applications such as WhatsApp for business communications. Its best field service teams use GDPR-compliant applications for communication between employees, clients, and contractors in order to remain compliant. GDPR secure remote visual support applications such as AIRe Link should also be utilized for conducting remote support sessions to keep customer data safe. 

3) Keep up to date

An important security tip to remember is to keep operating systems, software, and other applications up to date at all times to reduce security risks. Often updates are released to patch security vulnerabilities, by missing an update you potentially leave yourself open to hackers exploiting known vulnerabilities to gain access. The majority of software has an auto-update feature which should be enabled. 

It should be noted; AIRe Link is a web-based remote assistance application. When we release updates for new features or to improve security, user intervention is not required. The update is applied automatically the next time you log in without having to download any update files. 

4) Avoid public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi for remote workers should be avoided at all costs. Cybercriminals often target public Wi-Fi hotspots for a “man in the middle attack” in which data sent over the network is intercepted and stolen. This can include work messages containing customer personal data, business practices, schedules, bank details and more. Its best field service teams keep their information secure from preying eyes by using trusted secure networks only. 

Use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi

On occasion, remote workers will be forced to use public Wi-Fi, especially when travelling frequently. In these situations, it’s best to use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi. Data sent over an encrypted virtual private network, if intercepted by a “man in the middle attack”, will be unreadable and almost impossible to de-crypt keeping it safe. 

Although a VPN adds additional security, it’s advised not to send sensitive data when connected to public Wi-Fi and to keep operations as minimal as possible. In the case of compromise, nothing important is stolen that can be exploited by cybercriminals for personal gain. 

5) Disable password auto-save in browsers

The majority of web browsers incorporate save password features to store login data designed for easier access. For work devices, it is highly recommended to disable this feature, so workplace login data is not stored, and potentially accessible in the event an unauthorised user gains access to the device. 

6) Don’t open unsolicited emails

Remote workers should treat every email with caution and only open links and attachments from verified trusted senders. Cybercriminals are smart and adapt to modern times often targeting workplaces by mimicking legitimate-looking work emails from colleagues. Often with the intention to have employees log in to a fake website or infect devices with malware. 

Even AIRe Link support session invite emails can be faked to infect your business. Technicians should be trained to only accept already scheduled support sessions. Any un-planned support email requests received should be investigated before accepting to guarantee authenticity reducing the security risk. 

7) Keep in mind workplace location

While remote workers have the ability to work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. The location work is carried out should be kept in mind. For example, when working requires access to sensitive data such as customer information, support sessions, or business practices. It’s best to be aware of the surroundings in the location worked from. Make sure sensitive data remains protected and is not visible to other people around you when working for example, from a coffee shop. 

8) Implement password managers

Password managers should be utilized by all workplace employees, not just remote workers. Good password managers such as KeePass store login credentials in an encrypted file requiring a password to access. Logins can be created with randomised passwords to boost security. Utilizing the same password for more than one login introduces the risk that if one is hacked, the potential for other accounts to be accessed is increased. With randomised passwords stored in a manager, this risk is greatly reduced without the need to remember 20 different login credentials. 

9) Don’t forget two-factor authentication

Where possible two-factor authentication should be utilized to add additional security to user accounts. In the event login credentials are compromised, upon login, the prompt to enter a code sent via 2fa will appear. Hackers won’t be able to access the account unless they gain access to the two-factor authentication device adding an additional layer of security. 

10) Educate staff about cyber security

The best form of protection against cybersecurity threats is the education of all employees, not just remote workers. Some employees might not be aware of what security risks they might encounter, therefore educating them on the risks and ways to reduce them can boost the overall business’s security. You could even share this article around the office. 

Provide employees with backup solutions

It’s a well-known fact that hard drives can fail bringing along with it the potential for data loss and employee downtime. Without a backup, in the event of data loss, employees will have to spend time re-creating lost files which is not only time-consuming but can also become costly. It’s best to provide employees with a backup solution that creates daily backups stored elsewhere. In the event data loss occurs, you can simply restore from the latest save and continue operations as normal. 

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