How to Maintain Confidentiality in the Age of Remote Work

Categories: Remote Hiring and Virtual Staffing
remote worker

If there’s one thing that companies learned from the pandemic, it is that remote work is a viable option for businesses.

Chances are you sent your staff home during the height of COVID’s spread to accomplish their deliverables safely and realized that such is not a hindrance for productivity. You might have even concluded that the arrangement proved practical in terms of overhead business costs, considering you got to reduce utility bills, among other expenses. 

However, it still pays to explore potential downsides to remote work. In that regard, the first thing that comes to mind is cybersecurity. Easy and reliable access to corporate data is integral to smooth remote collaboration, especially if you have staff gathered by a recruitment agency in the Philippines.

However, it also poses the risk of data breaches and leaks. That is why it’s crucial to adhere to the best practices when it comes to ensuring the utmost confidentiality. Here are some ideas

1. Enforce a bulletproof cybersecurity policy

Top-notch cybersecurity begins with policy. And it should be written clearly, without the potential for misinterpretation. The policy should include provisions about login credential sharing, the use of personal devices and external storage, and non-disclosure agreements. You should also be clear about the consequences for the violators.

Once finalized, cybersecurity policy must be disseminated across all departments. If new guidelines are needed, make sure to communicate them with the rest of the team ASAP. Policy transparency is crucial to accountability. You may conduct training for complex aspects of cybersecurity policy, too.

2. Have a Non-Disclosure Agreement in place

Sensitive company data like patents, formulas, and customer data should be protected at all costs. Even if the data can be protected by only giving out access credentials to key employees, it is still best to have a deterrence against would-be internal data leakers. This is where a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) comes into play.

You turn trust into a legally binding document. The NDA should clarify the consequences of their actions to deter them from their plans.

3. Do not allow the use of external storage devices and personal devices

Provide your remote staff with work-dedicated devices, such as computers, phones, and tablets. Ideally, they will use these for only work-related activities. Ideally, they do not employ other devices for work purposes.

Not only can they save sensitive company data in their personal hard drives for distribution later on, cybersecurity threats like viruses and malware that may wreak havoc to your database can also be prevented. Secure company-issued devices with a firewall, and remind your employees about the safe usage and storage of the company-issued devices.

4. Place restrictions on sensitive company documents on the cloud

Do not allow access to sensitive company documents on the cloud to all employees. Subscribe to a system of tiered access. That means that only a specific employee can get their hands on the data necessary to accomplish their duties. Apart from mitigating the amount of data that can be leaked, it can be easier to trace the perpetrators by having a list of people who have access to the leaked file.

5. Use a password management tool

For utmost safety, conduct password security training. Discuss what makes a strong password. Your employees must learn to diversify the passwords they use for different devices.

They should also employ defamiliarized passwords or those that cannot be easily traced to their background or personality. Alternatively, you may opt for a password management tool that generates random passwords and updates as scheduled.

6. Use Two-factor Authentication (2FA)

Passwords are the first line of defense for your organization. To be extra careful, employ two-factor authentication.

2FA is a layer of protection that prevents unauthorized logins, even if the login credentials are compromised. This usually involves using one-time passwords (OTPs) sent to the authorized user’s other device to confirm their identity. OTPs may be linked to an employee’s mobile number. Other options include digital certificates and biometrics.

7. Encrypt your internet connection using a VPN

Discourage your remote employees from using public Wi-Fi as this can be a conduit for hackers. If they choose to work outside of the house, such as in a cafe, they must still connect to a company-issued Wi-Fi. The better the encryption using a VPN, the better it is for your peace of mind.

Encrypted computers will bar access to unauthorized users; hence, if a device gets lost, you have another level of protection against hackers.

8. Educate employees on phishing scams

Phishing scams operate under a similar modus. Hackers send a legitimate-looking email or instant message to unknowing and potential victims. These emails include a link the victim is supposed to click, which redirects to a page asking them for their personal information.

That’s how hackers obtain access credentials that might compromise your sensitive data. Remote employees must stay wary of these messages.

Prudence is key

The most successful organizations are those that know how to ride the tide. If, in the past, there was no way to imagine how a business could operate with their workers off-site, the pandemic has disrupted traditional employment setups and advanced the viability of work-from-home.

It’s about time you get behind this new normal. Don’t be scared off by remote work because of the increased risk of data breaches. So long as you have gathered reliable employees and the right policies, you’ll be more secure in your remote work setup.

To ensure that you get no less than skilled and trustworthy staff, consider working with Manila Recruitment for your hiring needs.