How to Digitally Secure The Remote Teleworker

If you employ remote workers, your IT staff has a unique challenge keeping your organization safe. Fortunately, using a combination of best practices for cybersecurity, user awareness campaigns, and a strong policy will help to keep data safe.

New advances in mobile technology and networking have given remote workforces a boost, and while policies for most remote workers generally depend on manager or company preferences, most businesses must accommodate a mobile workforce on some level…and here’s where the challenge lies.

Things such as emails, vulnerable software programs and work documents are all tools that cybercriminals can use to infiltrate your company’s network. These remote workers, no matter how convenient they might be, are the weak link in any company’s security plan. Cybercriminals know this, which is why they often focus on these workers. So, what do you do to find a balance between the convenience of remote workers and the importance of network security? Here are eight way that you can secure your remote workforce:

  1. Use Cloud-Based Storage – One way to make your remote workers safer is to use cloud services that use two factor authentication. These often have a higher level of encryption, so any data that your workforce uses is not only accessible, but also protected.
  2. Encrypt Devices When You Can – When giving mobile devices, including laptops, to your remove workforce, make sure that the hard drives are encrypted to protect the data on the machine. However, not all security programs will work with devices that are encrypted, so make sure that you double check all the tech specs before loading them up.
  3. Set Up Automatic Updates – You can also take the steps to automate any software updates, which means as soon as an update is released, your remote workforce will get the software on their devices. This can also be done via Mobile Device Management software.
  4. Use Best Practices for Passwords – You should also make sure that you are implementing good practices with passwords. You should, for instance, safeguard against stolen or lost devices by requiring that all employees use strong, complex passwords. You should also request that your team puts a password on their phones and laptops, since these items are easily stolen.
  5. Create Secure Network Connections – Also, ensure that your remote employees are connecting to your network by using a VPN connection. Encourage your IT staff to only allow your remote workers to connect to the VPN if their system is set up and patched correctly. Also, make sure that they are not connecting if their security software is not updated.
  6. Increase Awareness – Instead of attempting to restrict personal use of the internet, you should instead encourage education about internet use. Create and enact a cybersecurity policy, ensuring that it covers concepts such as phishing, scams, and social engineering tactics.
  7. Use Encrypted Email Software – Checking business email offsite is quite common, even among those who work on-site. Thus, it is extremely important to use a secure program for email.
  8. Use an Endpoint Security Program – Finally, if you haven’t already, implement an endpoint security program. These programs can be remotely launched and managed from one location. This software should also include components to keep unpatched programs, safe.

Yes, remote workers can be a challenge for your IT staff to manage, but when you use a strong policy, good practices in response to cybersecurity, and a comprehensive campaign for user awareness, you and your staff can keep all of your data safe.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Telemarketing Scams Target the Elderly

We hear it over and over how the elderly are often targeted by scammers. Elderly are simply “elders” and no smarter or dumber than anyone else. If anything, they are wiser. However, as we age we often get feeble, weaker in the mind. That slightly weaker state of mind is when the scammer strikes. You one day may be part of a telemarketing scam.

The psychology behind the success of these scams might have to do with the nature of the scam. Often they put a degree of pressure on the victim in regards to losing something or gaining something, but inevitably, it’s the pressure put on them that makes the victim act. Often the plan to scam money will involve something the victim is aware of, but doesn’t have a good understanding of. The scammer often does their best to speak in a way that is basic, but at the same time slightly over the head of the victim. They lead the victim down a rabbit hole that they can’t pull themselves out of.

In Ohio and all over the country, tried and true lottery scams are emptying bank accounts. In one scam a man loses $500,000 and in another $250,000.

U.S. postal inspectors say they’re seeing fresh reports about these old-fashioned scams: Senior citizens from Cleveland, Youngstown, Toledo, Mansfield and Madison have recently reported losing hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. The newest phone scams follow an old-fashioned formula: Scammers promise huge lottery winnings and then string victims along by inventing some problem — taxes, a customs problem, and a legal fee — that requires victims to send a sizable chunk of cash to free up their winnings. The recent victims are elderly and, for the most part, widowed, childless or estranged from family. They may have medical or other issues that cloud their judgment.”

Once the bad-guy locks in on them, they won’t let go until the bank account is beyond empty. Victims have been known to pull all the equity out of their houses as well.

In our day to day affairs with life so hectic and busy, it’s easy to forget those in our lives who are older and who may not be an immediate family member. These are people who the scammers often prey upon.

Who in your life could use some checking in on?

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing scammers and thieves on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch. Disclosures.