How To Secure Sensitive Data When Your Team Is Working From Home

7/31/2020



 

COVID-19 has changed the way businesses operate. Those that can, have shifted operations to the cloud and let staff work from home. According to a Gartner CFO Survey conducted earlier this year, 74% of businesses are planning to allow staff to work remotely on a permanent basis due to the ongoing pandemic.
 

Working from home does have certain advantages. According to a Stanford University report, staff attrition rates fall by 50% when employees are given the opportunity to work remotely. Focus is higher, staff can spend more time with their families, and the cost savings from not having to commute are considerable.
 

The biggest disadvantage associated with having a remote workforce is security. Letting teams work from home equates to hundreds of potential data leaks.
 

The answer lies in having a flexible integrated plan suited for the unpredictable landscape we find ourselves in. In this blog, we’ll outline some ways to secure your processes and ensure your sensitive data stays protected.  
 

 

Redefine your risk framework
 

The risk landscape has changed, and the way your business tackles it needs to adapt. The first step is to identify the new risks that come with digital migration and managing a remote workforce. This includes looking for opportunities that pose the highest risk and closing the gap.
 

For a remote team, factors to consider include:

- Identifying authorized users

- Individual device security

- Ensuring secure Internet access

- Rolling out comprehensive antivirus

- Data security
 

Once you have identified the risks, you can redefine your risk framework, plan, and implement accordingly.

  

Secure the flow of data
 

With a remote workforce, the risk of sensitive data being misused or falling into the wrong hands is high. Data masking is a flexible and trusted method of data protection that allows you to control the flow of data in and out of your organization. It works by masking or anonymizing certain data values, such as addresses, credit card numbers, or social security numbers, to ensure sensitive personal data cannot be seen by those not authorized to view it. So for example, if your developer’s computer is hacked or stolen, any data that is viewed cannot be used to identify a customer. 

 

Communicate the changes
 

Maintaining security involves communication with your team – across the organization. Success can only be achieved if everyone knows the risks and how to avoid them. Security training is crucial, as is a company wide debriefing.  Implementing multi-factor authorization and a secure virtual private network (VPN), for example, will only work if everybody uses it. It only takes one loose link to cause a data breach.
 

Across the globe, organizations are being forced to accept the "new normal" and adapt quickly. Migrating to the cloud allows teams to work from one central location, no matter where they are. But mitigating the risk associated with a remote workforce involves careful planning and embracing technology. 

  

With ten year’s experience in developing data security software, HushHush is at the forefront of privacy protection and offers a suite of flexible sensitive data discovery and masking tools to suit any size business and industry.  

 

Request your free demo today.