7 Tips for Securing Remote Workers and Their Mobile Devices

Security Tips for Remote Workers

The pandemic introduced a whole host of changes to daily life, but one of the most dramatic was the sudden transition to working from home. For many companies, this is a shift with lasting impact —more than half of employers expect most of their workforce will continue working remotely once the COVID-19 crisis subsides.

This new work environment creates security challenges for companies at a scale most have never experienced. Workers are using unsecured or low-bandwidth WiFi. IT teams are now serving employees remotely and receiving far more requests for help. And organizations are at increased risk of security breaches as their devices and networks are fully dispersed.

Assuring data security for remote workers is a tall order. That’s why we convened a panel of remote device security experts to discuss best practices for reducing threats, improving device management, and increasing employee productivity.  The panelists included:

  • Steve Deck, Director of Channel Security at Absolute
  • Neil Fallon, Director of U.S. Government Sales at HID Global
  • Brian Nugent, Strategic Alliance and Channel Manager at SOTI
  • Chris Davis, Panasonic ProServices Account Manager 

The big takeaway: A strategic approach to managing your remote workforce and mobile device security can transform your work-from-home experiment into a successful, secure reality.

Here seven tips that the experts provided to help:

Give remote workers access to the right applications

Remote work isn’t just about logging on from home. Employees need to meet, collaborate, and share work in real-time. That’s why the use of video conference call services increased by 2900% in the first half of 2020. For companies, ensuring that employees have access to applications they need is essential. So, too, is creating the ability to manage those applications at scale. An IT team, for instance, should explore ways to remotely deploy and update new applications across devices.

Empower IT to provide remote support

Employees and IT lose time when one party is attempting to explain a problem or solution without actually seeing it for themselves. Enabling remote access to devices allows IT to quickly understand an issue, provide support, or even fix the problem themselves. Employees can get back to work and IT can reduce the time it takes to resolve a ticket. 

Blacklist websites unrelated to work

Phishing scams have increased considerably along with remote workers. One way to address this risk is to prevent employees from accessing sites that have been blacklisted for malware concerns. In doing so, you can also improve productivity by keeping employees away from websites that are unrelated to work. 

Create a geofence to track mobile device security

Part of securing remote devices is knowing where they are. But tracking hundreds or thousands of phones, tablets and laptops is no small feat. This is where a geofence makes a difference. Create one so that you can maintain and track all of your devices within a specific locale—and be notified when one leaves the area.   

Double down on remote worker education

Ensure that your employees understand the security risks of remote working as well as measures they can take to protect the company’s privacy, data, and devices—not to mention their own. Education is especially effective when it comes to keeping your employees from falling victim to phishing scams. Teach them about the types of emails and websites that should raise red flags and what they should do if they encounter a potential scam.

Invest in multifactor authentication

People are notoriously terrible at devising strong passwords; most likely because strong passwords are also hard to remember. While changing behavior so that employees understand what makes for more secure passwords is ideal, implementing multifactor authentication to device access provides another layer of security just in case. Adding in biometrics, or another security measure beyond a password, protects the device — and your organization — from breaches while the employee has the device and in the event it gets lost or stolen.

Encourage VPN connection

Virtual private networks were designed to provide protection while employees are using public networks. With a VPN, remote workers connect to an organization’s private server, instead of relying on their own Internet Service Provider. This provides yet another layer of security for data and information accessed and shared by remote workforces.

During the COVID crisis, work from home became a necessity. Now it’s likely that many companies will continue providing work-from-home options, even as the pandemic abates. Implement these tips to ensure IT security for remote workers remains top of mind — no matter where they’re located.