How to Ensure Compliance When Working Remotely | Spector

How to Ensure Compliance When Working Remotely

Compliance Regulations Remote Work
Photo by Siniz Kim on Unsplash

Reading Time: 4 Minutes
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has presented businesses worldwide with many unique challenges when it comes to their day-to-day operations. With every company trying its best to survive in this unprecedented climate, remote working has become a critical factor in keeping operations up and running. However, this adaptation has exposed businesses to a whole new level of cybersecurity and compliance threats. 

With cybercriminals preying on vulnerable home networks and work-from-home employees saving files on their local drives, the threat to business data is at an all-time high. According to the Coverware Ransomware Marketplace Research report, the average ransomware payment for Q2 2020 stood at $178,254. This is a whopping 60% increase from the Q1 2020 average payment.  

Despite the increasing magnitude of cyber threats, organisations can still make the most of the great solutions available to them to successfully overcome this menace even when their entire workforce is working remotely. 

Is your business vulnerable? Read our 8 Steps to secure remote working during the covid 19 lockdown

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the most significant compliance and security concerns associated with remote work and how to overcome them.

Challenges to Security and Compliance With Remote Work 

When remote working became ubiquitous across the world, most organisations were forced to adapt to this change without solid policies or processes to maintain standards. Due to this, even some of the top companies are still catching up on their compliance adherence measures while facilitating remote work. 

Businesses of all sizes face the following challenges when working with remote employees:

  • Reduced security: When the lockdown started, employees took their business devices home and used them on their home networks. They also occasionally use their personal devices for office work. This poses a great threat to business data since organisations have very little control over security. 
  • Inability to enforce best practices: When operating within their office environments, companies can ensure their employees follow data security best practices. However, the scenario is vastly different with remote work. There’s every possibility that employees may use shared networks or public Wi-Fi connections to perform their work, adding to security complications. 
  • Inadequate backup: With remote work becoming the norm, the threat to data is significantly higher now. Unfortunately, data backup failure is quite common as well. That’s why organisations need to make sure they have multiple copies of their critical data in case their remote servers are compromised. 
  • Lack of employee awareness: Although most organisations follow best practices regarding employee and customer data, human error is still a major threat to security and compliance. Remote employees need to be provided with proper awareness training on how to handle data and on the best practices to follow. The most secure companies manage to make cyber security awareness second nature.

Best Ways to Ensure Compliance During Remote Work 

Although remote setups make compliance more challenging than usual, organisations can incorporate the following best practices to boost their security and comply with various regulations.  

1. Create a cybersecurity policy

If you don’t have a cybersecurity policy in place already, it’s time to create one. Organisations must develop a cybersecurity policy suitable for remote work. This policy should cover the various steps employees need to follow at personal as well as professional levels. By establishing proper standards and best practices for cybersecurity, organisations can minimise their risk exposure.

Cyber Security
Photo by Maarten Van den Heuvel

2. Incorporate a consistent data storage policy 

Without a standard cloud storage policy, employees are likely to store and handle data the way they see fit, which is certainly not advisable. There should be a shared repository on the cloud to back up files instantly from different sources. In many cases, the rogue copies that employees store on their local drives can pose a major threat to data security and create inconsistencies in storage policies. You need to make sure that data storage policies are strictly followed throughout the organisation. 

3. Increase remote monitoring 

During remote work, endpoint management and cybersecurity policies are impossible to incorporate without the power of automation. You need a robust remote monitoring solution that manages all your endpoints and helps you adhere to compliance regulations. When you have complete visibility into the entire remote working network, you can minimise vulnerabilities and security threats.

4. Increase employee awareness through training

Since human error is highly likely in all organisations, proper training should be provided to remote working employees. This training should focus on some of the most common and significant issues such as clicking questionable links, being wary of messages from untrusted sources, having strong passwords, implementing multi-factor authentication, etc. If your organisation falls under specific compliance regulations, you need to provide additional training to data-handling employees regarding the best practices to be followed. 

Your Employees are your biggest Risk. Learn more about this and how to train them in this article.

5. Use the right tools and solutions 

As cybercriminals and their tactics continue to evolve, you need to make sure that you use the right software tools and solutions to combat this threat. In addition to remote monitoring software, you need to use the appropriate antivirus, cloud backup, password manager and more. You also need to make sure that these solutions are properly integrated into a comprehensive platform.  

What Businesses Need 

Ensuring compliance is a critical task by itself. Doing that while implementing remote working policies and procedures can be overwhelming for many organisations. Your business must invest in a security solution that allows it to protect your valuable data and meet compliance regulations even in a remote working setup. 

With the right partner, this task becomes much more manageable. Reach out to us today, so we can help you develop an effective compliance strategy suitable for your needs.

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