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Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

How to Track and to Secure Sensitive Data for Remote Work

Managing remote work has become a serious problem for companies all across the world. Moving the operations to a mobile-based workforce with workers using the business data via their mobile devices is not something all businesses are comfortable with. However, most businesses are carefully and slowly introducing remote work policies for their organizations. In the ideal scenario, all these companies have to build dependable network resources and make sure that their employees are safe and are using uninfected devices. Most businesses have to deal with this issue because they were not prepared for it while others were partly ready with their remote workforce preparations.

Risks involved due to exposure of sensitive data to a new remote workforce

Business managers at the moment are busy trying to keep the employees connected. Opening up the cloud-hosted project files, their servers, and directing the employees toward the right software for the remote work from home is taking up most of their time. The hackers would not have sat quietly during all this and the risk is higher than it has ever been. The business networks stand unexpectedly exposed at the moment. A lot of sensitive data is going through an unsecured wireless network. This is providing opportunities for hackers.

Security measures for controlling the risk of sensitive data

How to Secure Sensitive Data For Remote Work Tools
Of all the loopholes for hackers to exploit in an organization, sharing sensitive data for remote work seems to be one of the easiest. Here are ways to track and secure your information from getting into the wrong hands.

Here are some measures to control the risk of exposing sensitive data while dealing with remote workers.

1. Classify the documents to be shared in remote workflow

The first step in the process is identifying what documents are at risk. Identify the portions of your network where the employees are accessing the cloud-hosted documents remotely. These files used to be behind a network firewall but they are exposed these days. You must be aware of all the documents and gateways that are open to remote employee access. The reason is that if an employee can access them it is possible for the hackers as well especially when the remote access plans are not fully implemented. You need to prepare a catalog of places where the sensitive data is shared and may get possibly exposed.

2. Convert the sensitive data into read-only documents

You are never really needed to expose the sensitive data required by the employees to work with concerned documents. Some of these documents have to be live for team collaboration such as shared projects. Sending large files can be one of the problems facing the network experts. You need to obfuscate the various files containing sensitive data by separating the data from the shared documents referencing it. Identify the particular sensitive data and disassociate it from the files having its reference. Concatenate the sensitive data into read-only and private documents and protect it with a higher degree of security than other project files. Never expose sensitive data directly. It is a good idea to take that additional time to pull the sensitive data from the protected area.

3. Encrypt and defend the isolated documents

After you have isolated the documents containing sensitive data you need to defend it to the best of your IT capabilities. Build a referral system so that it keeps the sensitive data inside the encrypted tunnel and just the connected and authorized employees can access the data. Maintain the sensitive data files on a professionally secured server that is capable of resisting the hacker techniques. The key to this defense lies in encryption. Even if the hacker is successful in penetrating the defenses of your remote work, he will not be able to use the data and files he manages to steal.

4. Scan the active documents regularly for sensitive data

Although you have already gone through scanning and securing the vulnerable documents, the employees are required to create and alter the files they are working on. In the process, they may add sensitive data to the documents or develop separate docs for their use or regular work procedure. Sometimes they may misunderstand the new system and place the sensitive data in plain text while using shared documents. You need to scan the remote shared documents all the time for sensitive data. If you find any, change it or secure it.

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News

Best Practices for Remote Work Culture for High Productivity

Working remotely is a reality for many people right now. Whether you regularly work from home as an entrepreneur or are working at home, for the time being, you don’t have to worry about a reduction in productivity.

In fact, according to a press release by the Remote Collaborative Worker Survey, they found that 77% of employees report a higher level of productivity when they work remotely. This means that when the right steps are taken, there are plenty of benefits to reap from working remotely.

However, to reap these benefits, you have to take the right steps to build an effective remote working environment. With these tips, you’ll have the chance to create a space where you can work remotely and keep productivity high.

How to Increase Your Productivity While Working Remotely

To work from home, here are the five best practices and steps to increase your productivity while working remotely:

How to Increase Productivity While Working Remotely
Working remotely helps you get ready to work from home every day. You can have clear lines of communication, create a schedule, and many more.

1. Set Up a Dedicated Workspace

One of the biggest challenges, when someone works from home, is keeping a dividing line between their personal and professional lives. This can not only damper productivity during work hours but it can add to stress levels outside of work hours as well.

It’s a good idea to set up a small office in your house to work in. Even if you don’t have a spare room to turn into an office, it’s just as effective to have a dedicated workspace in an already existing room in your house.

2. Create a Schedule

Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule that you will abide by is one of the best ways to keep be productive while working remotely.

When you work from home, it’s just as important to have a set schedule as you would in an office. This helps you get on track when it’s time to start working and helps to make sure you get every task on your desk completed by the deadline. Remember, for maximum productivity, it’s just as important to schedule in periodic breaks throughout the workday.

3. Have Clear Lines of Communication

When you work remotely, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you work alone. For instance, an employee from an app development company can work in a team even if they physically work from a remote location.

To achieve this efficiently and productively, the team needs clear lines of communication. Deciding how the team will reach each other when they need. What communication medium works best? What questions are answerable via email and which ones require video conferences?

4. Get Ready for Work Every Day

Working Remotely Helps You Get Ready for Work Every Day
Working remotely help you get ready to work every day. You don’t have to worry about commuting to the office, especially in this pandemic era where movement have been restricted.

It might not sound like much, but it will go a long way if you take the time to get ready for work every day just like you would if you were working in an office. This will help you with a step mentioned earlier: keeping a schedule.

While it is often convenient and comfortable to work in relaxing clothes like pajamas, it also blurs the line between work and personal life as well.

5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Above all else, don’t blame yourself if you don’t find your workflow right away. It takes time to fall into a new routine and anyone is bound to make mistakes along the way. All you can do is try your best. If you happen to make such a blunder, don’t beat yourself up – you’ll find a rhythm better if you cut yourself some slack while you settle into a new pattern.

Conclusion

Working remotely can actually offer you an even greater chance to work productively than you’re used to if you working in a traditional office. All you have to do is make some adjustments. For example, don’t work where you relax, create a schedule, and treat it like any other workspace. Most of all, don’t get too down on yourself if takes some time to fall into good work habits.

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Business CyberSecurity Hack Healthcare & Healthy Living How to Guide Security Startups

5 Steps to Keep Home Network Safe for Remote Working

The current social distancing rules have forced many companies to make the switch to remote work whether they were ready or not. This unveiled just how unprepared and unsafe home networks are when it comes to standing up to a determined attacker. As such, we offer five tips to help regular people set up a more secure work environment from a distance.

How to Keep Your Home Network Safe for Work

The current world situation is difficult, to say the least. The healthcare and economic systems of almost every country on the globe are negatively impacted by the social distancing rules, and we don’t know yet when the situation will return to normal (if ever).

However, there are companies that managed to adapt to the situation by setting up their workers to work from home. Luckily, this is not a new situation as many people already work remotely in many parts of the world. Even more, this is an upwards trend that’s expected to take over most industries by 2028.

Still, remote workers can be a risk for the safety of the company if it’s not done correctly. When working from home, employees don’t follow the same rules imposed by the company when it comes to file sharing, IT security, or software used. Many home computers don’t use an up to date operating system and rely on free software tools that are easier to hack.

When we combine the idea of low-security remote workers with the recent surge in cyberattacks, the result is a bit chilling.

As such, a safe work environment (albeit a remote one) is a responsibility that both employers and employees share. Since we know cybersecurity and new technologies are not everyone’s cup of tea, we put together a few guidelines to help remote workers up the security of their home network.

So, make sure to read everything carefully, and apply the measures that fit your situation in keeping home network safe during and after the social distancing rules.

Keep Home Network Safe – 5 Tips to Stay Safe While Working from Home

How to Keep Your Home Network Safe for Remote Working
To work with peace of mind while maintaining the social distancing rules for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, here are steps to keep your home network safe. Make sure you follow these guidelines for staying safe while working from home.

#1: Update the Security of your WiFi

Home WiFi networks are rarely well-protected and many homeowners don’t even bother to change the default security settings on their routers. This makes the work of anyone who is trying to break your network so much easier!

So, to avoid getting a data breach via your WiFi, follow these basic steps:

  • Change the SSID (service set identifier or the name of the network). If you keep the default one (usually provided by the router or the company that offers the service), you tell an external actor that the password is also the default one or something extremely generic.
  • Change the Password of the router – If you don’t know how to go about this, you can ask your service provider. Also, make sure it is strong (at least 20 characters long with numbers, letters, and various symbols) and avoid using personal information (pets’ names, children’s names, dates of birth, and so on).
  • Enable network encryption – Most modern routers offer encryption possibilities, but they are turned off by default. Make sure to check the router’s settings and turn on encryption (the most effective is WPA2).

#2: Update your Software

If you’re that person who checks “Remind me later” when it comes to software updates, it’s time to stop!

Software updates are not there just to annoy you. This is a form of support provided by the producer to keep your device safe from various vulnerabilities and flaws that could become gateways for hackers.

As such, make sure that every software item you use (including the operating system and router firmware) has the latest updates installed and running.

#3: Use a Solid Security Solution

Stay away from public networks for as much as possible. And, if you do have to use them, take all the necessary precautions. This is the first rule of online safety!

The second rule is about using a reliable antivirus solution. Many people think that just because they have a free antivirus on their systems they are safe. This is completely false and this way of thinking can lure people into a false sense of security.

For an extra layer of protection, you can use a VPN solution. It may slow down your connection a bit, but it’s a price worth paying.

Lastly, you should consider taking an online course on cybersecurity. These courses are affordable, easy to understand, and flexible, but most importantly, they offer valuable information on IT security and protection against the most common threats.

#4: Separate Work from Personal

Working from home can get a bit messy if you don’t establish clear boundaries with the family, the clients and colleagues, and even yourself.

For instance, if possible, try to use a different computer for work and another device for personal activities. If not, make sure you have separate profiles for work and fun and that both profiles are users without administrative rights. Also, if more people use the same computer, make a separate profile for guests (again, no administrative rights).

#5: Change Passwords Frequently

Let’s be honest – the standard username/password system is flawed and, with that many data breaches, it’s no longer effective. Add to this the fact that many people don’t understand the purpose of a strong and unique password and you have the perfect recipe for hacking.

Right now, the most convenient way around this system is two-factor authentication, but it can be difficult to implement and not exactly cheap.

As such, to make sure your professional accounts remain safe, you should change the passwords every two or three months. Also, stay up to date with the latest data breaches, and if any of the platforms you’re currently using was attacked, change the password immediately.

Wrap Up

Yes, it can be a bit daunting to make sure your online presence is safe from prying eyes, but the alternative is much worse!

These measures should be applied by anyone who uses the Intenet to keep their home network safe, but if you work remotely, they are mandatory. Also, we strongly recommend doing more research on the topic of cybersecurity to find new ways of keeping your business safe while beyond the social distancing rules set by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Categories
Disruption IoT (Internet of Things)

How to Protect Yourself from Security Attacks As a Remote Worker

It was something that was unheard of several years ago, but slowly the world is changing culture and remote working is becoming a big deal. In fact, some countries believe that it’s just a matter of time before the majority of the workers are actually employed in this manner.

It would be fair to say that this movement has been welcomed by the majority, who can now work with much more flexibility. At the same time, there are drawbacks, and cyber security is one of these.

In short, those remote workers who are based away from the standard office are open to a lot more risks. It might be because their systems at home are much less advanced than official business ones, or it can be because they are on the move more and therefore open to a lot more risks.

Bearing this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can protect yourself as a remote worker and ultimately keep your data much safer.

How to Stay Safe from Security Attacks As a Remote Worker

The Rise of Remote Working Makes Me Think Technology Is Quietly Replacing Humanity
Working from home or on the go in this age is not longer a new invention but a reality for smart workers across the world. Gone are the days you’d have to be in the confine of an office, today, you can be in remote offices across the world all thanks to Wi-Fi access. But that posses a challenge to remote worker because of security. Let’s delve into ways to stay secure as a remote worker.

Public Wi-Fi: a risky business

Over the last few years we’ve seen much more emphasis on maximum security antivirus software, which really is pushed onto a lot of users. It should go without saying that the emphasis on this is absolutely correct as well.

One of the big reasons for this push is the threat of public Wi-Fi. This tends to be the best friend of a remote worker, but at the same time it can be a powerful enemy. Some public Wi-Fi hotspots are not configured properly, and this makes them vulnerable for some people to launch malicious attacks. Data can be intercepted whilst in some cases, software can be discreetly installed on your device.

As such, try and keep public Wi-Fi use to a low, or at least only use trusted sources.

The importance of email encryption

Email encryption is something which has been doing the rounds for a while now, but for remote workers it’s even more important. It’s something that can add an extra layer of protection into every email that enters your inbox, and leaves your sent items, and ultimately makes them un-readable to anyone who shouldn’t be seeing them.

This can be related to the previous point, where internet connections can be hijacked and emails and other sensitive information can be read. Ultimately, if you have such an encryption service installed, things suddenly become a lot more secure.

The threat of removable drives

In the age of cloud computing, this might not be as much as an issue as it once was. However, for remote workers who might routinely visit conferences and clients, removable disk drives can be still a common tool. In relation to conferences, many actually hand out free devices – and this is where potential problems can creep in.

Some of these devices have hidden programs installed, which are obviously not going to do any good to your data or your device. It’s worth mentioning that conferences, and others handing these out, often aren’t aware of this. However, before you plug the drive in, just ask yourself whether you really think it’s a safe course of action.

If you follow some of the safety and security measures, you should be certain of protecting your data as a remote worker.

Categories
Disruption IoT (Internet of Things)

The Rise of Remote Working – How Remote Working Is Quietly Replacing Human’s Unproductivity At Work

According to some studies, half of the population will be working remotely by 2020. This is in stark contrast to the situation a couple of decades ago, where pretty much every worker in the land was fixed to the infamous 9-5 hours, or they worked unsociable shifts.

Of course, a lot of these workers are attached to larger organizations, who are simply becoming a little more flexible in the way that they offer hours to their employees.

Aside to this, there’s another type of remote worker. This comes in the form of the self-employed worker, or the freelancer if you are otherwise inclined. The number of people taking such a route on is increasing by the year and through the course of today’s post, we will take a look at why remote working has become a bubble that is showing absolutely no signs of popping.

The Sudden Rise of Remote Working Tells How Technology Is Increasing Productivity At Work

The Rise of Remote Working Makes Me Think Technology Is Quietly Replacing Humanity
The rise of remote working makes me think some of the latest advancements in technology might (quietly) be replacing human’s touch in business and activities lately. I don’t know if you think otherwise?

The power of the app

In truth, it’s not just apps which have transformed the remote working marketplace, but the internet in general. Websites and apps have become more powerful and it’s meant that rather than purchasing specific (and expensive) software to complete every task, most things can be done by the touch of a button.

For example, rolling back the clock a number of years, expensive accounting software was needed in order to prepare invoices. Now, through companies like Pay Anywhere, this has changed and remote workers can quickly prepare invoices through their mobile phone.

Suffice to say, these developments don’t just relate to accounting, but pretty much every type of administration service you need to run your business.

We all live on the cloud

The cloud is one of the most interesting developments of the last few years. It might seem relatively new, but in actual fact it’s been around since the beginning of time. Put simply, it’s merely uploading files to a server.

The big difference is of course that these servers are more user friendly than ever before and can ultimately be accessed by anyone. For the remote worker, this is key.

It doesn’t matter whether you are dealing with a client in the next block, or if they are based on the other side of the world. Everyone can access the same files and for remote workers, this means that you don’t have to share them face-to-face.

The fall of face-to-face meetings

On the subject of face-to-face sharing, this is something that is slowly on the way out. Will it ever be completely eradicated from our lives? Probably not. There will still be occasions, in some sectors at least, where nothing will beat a traditional meeting.

On the whole, they are largely unnecessary though. Thanks to cloud sharing, and the fact that video conferencing  and screen sharing is well and truly accessible to the masses, it means that there really isn’t a need to meet client’s face-to-face. Sure, some might prefer it during those initial stages in a bid to seal a deal, but following on from this little face-to-face contact is required in the modern day, remote working world.