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Data Protection in the Age of the Remote Working Environment

It wouldn’t be wrong to state that data has become the most crucial aspect of every organization nowadays. But with this increasing importance of information, its security has also transformed into a concerning factor. To ensure the data remains safe from any breaches, all the companies undertake different security measures on their office networks.

This set-up was successful until the remote working environment came into practice. With people working from their own places, organizations have lost control over networks’ security because everyone uses a different system. It gave the intruders a great opportunity, as they can quickly get access to the company’s confidential information.

In order to avoid this, new-age security measures and standard security compliance came into the role. Let’s see the importance of high data security today and how can we achieve it.

Is Your Network Secure?
Most of the organizations’ security is based on their on-premises network. So as soon as the employees leave the office, they enter into an unsecured zone. Moreover, a majority of people working from home don’t take their network security seriously. This leaves the company’s data almost open in front of invaders.

That is why the very first question all organizations should ask each of their employees working from home is: Is your network secure? Ensuring the staff’s network security will help the corporation keep their own information safe from any breaches.

The Impact of Data Breaches on Organizations
In case your organization still avoids these factors, they will be subjected to data breaches. It means an intruder will enter the corporation’s system and take out information that can harm the company somehow.

A few after-effects of data breaches seen on small and large organizations are:

1. Reputation Damage

This is the most common effect of a data breach. Once the customers know their information isn’t safe with the company, they lose trust in them. It leads them not to provide any further details to the specific organization, especially the confidential data related to their payments or privacy. Even if you practice the best security measures after the breach, it will take years of effort to bring back the same reliability and trust.

2. Revenue Drop and Other Losses

It has been noticed that a significant number of corporations drop their revenue post data breach. It can be due to numerous reasons, such as a non-functional website or a prolonged IT system downtime. This kind of problem gives space to the customer to explore other options and leave the platform altogether because no one has the time to wait for a particular site to work again.

However, these are only surface-level losses. There are several hidden costs like:

Cost related to redesigning the security set-up
Legal fees to deal with the breach
Investigation costs
PR expenditure to get the reputation back on track

3. Idea Theft

When an intruder enters your organization’s system, they can conveniently get whatever information they want. This includes all the blueprints and critical ideas you have kept protected for years. What makes the condition worse is that they won’t give it a second thought before using the data against you. So your entire business is put into danger irrespective of the scale on which it functions.

4. Other Unnoticeable Damages

Until now, all the damages and losses were clearly noticeable. However, some of the data breaches lead to online vandalisms that are difficult to observe and eliminate. For example, imagine someone gets into your organization’s website and changes their email address. While this seems harmless, all the relevant emails will be sent to the new address. This will ultimately turn into losses.

Plus, being difficult to notice, these damages will continue to happen until you change them. But usually, it is too late till then.

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Staying Secure and Compliant
Now that you know what a data breach can do to your business, it is crucial to take appropriate action while there is still some time. A few precautions that can be implemented for the same are:

1. A Private Space for Sensitive Data

Confidential or sensitive information is the first target for all intruders. They try to get as much data from these sections as possible. This can damage your organization on a much larger scale. That is why you need to implement a private space for all the sensitive data, which shouldn’t be open for all. Security concern will reduce as the access to information will reduce.

2. Be Vigilant Of Scams

Most of the damages accompany some warning signs with them. You need to keep your employees aware of these signs. As soon as they notice something not working, as usual, they should report it and get rid of the scams before it can create a significant loss.

3. Protecting All Operating Systems

Appropriate security measures should be taken on each operating system practiced by the employees, no matter how secure it is. Plus, different measures should be taken for distinct OS so that maximum security can be achieved.

4. Monitoring Sensitive Data At All Times

Keeping sensitive information in private spaces isn’t enough. Smart intruders can get access to that data as well. That is why you need to keep a check on the information every now and then. It will help you see any ongoing suspicious activities in the space.

5. Prevent the Spread of Shadow IT

While Shadow IT can be beneficial for your organization’s overall productivity, it is a significant threat to data security. By preventing its spread in the remote working culture, you can ensure that everything remains safe and under control.

Protecting Data While Working Remotely
Remote working data protection practices are different from the ones opted for regular in-office work. A few of them that shouldn’t be ignored are:

1. Intelligent Use of Firewall

Firewalls are of no use if they don’t function properly. That is why you need to implement them smartly. This includes using multiple layers of firewalls and keeping them updated for any new unknown malware.

2. Use of Encryption Software

Even if the intruder gets to the network or one of the endpoints, they won’t be able to cause any harm if the data is encrypted. So each system should use encryption software for proper security.

3. Rely on Two-Factor Authentication

The two-factor authentication process creates an additional layer of security. It makes certain that the person accessing the data is authentic and has the required permissions for access.

4. Use a Password Manager

An appropriately secured system requires a password on every other step. But an employee can’t remember all of them at the same time. That is why a password manager must be used for all. This will help in keeping the passwords safe.

5. Ensure all Internet Connections are Secure

Unsecure networks are the first place where intruders gain access to the organizations’ system. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that each employee’s personal internet connections and Wi-Fi are adequately secured. Using open networks should also be avoided to stay secure from any mishaps.

6. Establish a Cybersecurity Policy

Making an appropriate and feasible cybersecurity policy has become an inevitable part of every organization that has its employees working from home. However, you also need to ensure that the staff complies with the rules and regulations. Otherwise, they will be of no use.

Conclusion
We hope you have understood data security and compliance’s significance in the age of remote working. So you must practice the best security measures to make sure that no one causes any harm to your organization, even for a small prank.

ARCON is a leading enterprise risk control solutions provider, specializing in risk-predictive technologies. ARCON | User Behaviour Analytics enables to monitor end-user activities in real time. ARCON | Privileged Access Management reinforces access control and mitigates data breach threats. ARCON | Secure Compliance Management is a vulnerability assessment tool.

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