All organizations need secure communication and collaboration – especially for their remote workers. Sensitive information is exchanged via text, voice, and video messaging, as well as remote file sharing, and that information needs to be kept secure.
How can your organization improve its cybersecurity for collaboration and communication? Read on to discover several essential tips.
Why Cybersecurity Matters for Collaboration and Communication
In response to the global COVID-19 crisis many organizations sent their workforce home to work remotely. Upwork estimates that more than a quarter of the workforce will be working remotely through at least the end of 2021 – double the number of remote workers prior to COVID.
With so many employees working from home, remote communication and collaboration have become essential for your company’s operation. Every remote worker represents a threat point, connecting via an unsecure network, often on personal devices.
Not surprisingly, this blurring of work and home spaces has led to an increase in data breaches. A YouGov survey of IT decision makers found that, during the COVID pandemic:
- 56% saw an increase in web browser-related malware infections
- 54% saw an increase in phishing
- 44% saw compromised devices being use to infect the greater business
All of these data points reinforce the need for more robust cybersecurity for communication and collaboration – especially for remote workers.
10 Cybersecurity Tips for More Secure Collaboration and Communication
The larger your remote workforce, the more you need strong cybersecurity to protect your employees’ collaboration and communication. Here are ten tips you can use to improve your enterprise’s cybersecurity.
1. Insist on Strong Passwords
It may sound like common sense (and it is), but you need to insist that your employees use strong passwords on all their remote devices – both work devices and personal ones. Create and enforce a password policy that requires strong and frequently changed passwords for all employees.
2. Employ Multifactor Authentication
Access to your systems can be made even more secure by using multifactor authentication. This is especially important when employees are connecting from their homes, hotel rooms, coffeeshops, and other unsecure locations.
3. Avoid Email
Email is one of the least secure means of communication today. Verizon reports that 94% of malware-related security breaches occur via email. You should try to wean your staff off email and onto more secure text, voice, and video communication methods.
4. Guard Against Spear Phishing
Spear phishing often occurs via email but can also utilize other forms of communication. A spear phishing attack is like a phishing attack but it targets a single individual with well-researched details about that individual or organization. You need to train your employees to recognize attempts at spear phishing as well as encourage the use of secure communications that are difficult for these imposters to infiltrate.
5. Enforce Mobile Phone Discipline
With more and more employees using mobile phones for sensitive company communications, you need to reinforce that cell phone calls are essentially public communications that can be easily hacked or eavesdropped on. Instruct your employees not to say anything on a mobile phone that they don’t want any outsiders to hear.
6. Regularly Update All Software and Hardware
Malicious actors have long exploited security holes in both software and hardware. To guard against these opportunistic attacks your IT staff needs to ensure that all software and devices are kept up-to-date in terms of security patches and updates.
7. Discourage Sharing with Outside Users
Collaboration often takes place between your employees and individuals outside your organization. That represents a security risk, especially if employees seek to share files with outsiders via email or other means. You need to lock down this type of unsecure file sharing by not granting access to your network to non-employees or other unauthorized users. You should only enable file sharing with users within an employee’s designated group or network.
8. Use a VPN
With many remote workers connecting from unsecure public WiFi networks and hotspots, you can enhance security by requiring connection to your network via VPN. A VPN, such as Wickr Open Access, provides a more secure and less easily hacked connection to your network.
9. Comply with All Regulations
All of your organization’s collaboration and communication need to comply with the same industry and governmental regulations that apply to your traditional data security. Make sure your IT staff is aware of all applicable regulations – including those enforced by other countries in which you do business – and that you are in full compliance in regards to your communications and collaborations.
10. Encrypt All Collaboration and Communication
Finally, the best way to secure your employees’ collaboration and communication is to employ end-to-end encryption. This way all communications and shared files are unreadable even if accessed by unauthorized users, whether at rest or in transit.
Bonus Tip: Use Wickr to Secure Your Collaboration and Communication
Here’s one more tip for you. You can ensure the utmost security for your enterprise collaboration and communication by employing Wickr’s secure communications and collaboration platform. Wickr employs strong end-to-end encryption and other military-grade security to ensure that text, voice, and video communications and data files remain totally secure. When you deploy Wickr in your enterprise you can be sure that your workers – even remote workers – are communicating and collaborating safely and securely.
Contact Wickr today to learn more about developing an effective data and communications protection strategy for your organization.