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Keep Remote Employees Safe from Cyber Threats

Last Updated:
July 20, 2020

The recent increase in employees working from home as a result of COVID-19 brings an increased risk of cybersecurity threats.

With 25 percent of Canadian organizations now going entirely remote and 85 percent going remote with at least half of their workforce, it’s important to keep up with appropriate cybersecurity measures.

Develop a remote work policy specifically for pandemics and other emergencies.

Consider developing a new, written work from home policy that goes into effect only during emergencies. This policy can account for all special considerations that are different from your original policy, which may need to be reverted back to once the emergency ends.

Connect to a virtual private network (VPN) if possible.

A VPN can provide a direct connection to the organization’s normal applications, similar to if the employee was connected directly to the organization’s network. This can hide the user’s IP address, encrypt data transfers in transit and mask the user’s location. If the organization already has a VPN, ensure that it can handle the extra bandwidth from the sudden influx of new remote users.

Ensure software is updated.

All devices being used for work should be secured with up-to-date firewalls, antivirus, anti-malware and data encryption software.

Enforce basic cybersecurity practices.

Reinforce the importance of basic cybersecurity practices, such as using strong passwords and refrain from connecting to public Wi-Fi.

Avoid using removable media.

Keep the use of removable media such as USBs, SD cards and discs to an absolute minimum and never use it as the sole storage location of valuable data.

Limit employee access.

Rather than allowing employees access to all programs and resources, grant them access to only the programs and resources that are essential to their duties.