With the major shift to remote work marked by stay-at-home orders, data security and privacy have become a primary concern in 2020. Even with restrictions lifting, many businesses and employees may continue to operate remotely in the months to come. This shift makes maintaining the integrity and security of your business data even more critical.
Utilizing VPN Access
When operating remotely, many businesses turn to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for security. VPNs allow users to access the internet via a secure connection on a private server. Thanks to this secure and remote access, employees can enjoy logging into the corporate network safely while out of the office.
VPNs are also useful for those that travel for business and wish to maintain a private and secure internet connection. VPNs reduce the chances of data breaches and employee connections being intercepted. However, additional security measures for patching and monitoring still need to be implemented to combat the security risks that arise when employees use their own devices for work — often referred to as BYOD.
Ensure That Your Software and Tools Are Secure
The next step in enterprise data security is vetting the security protocols of all software and tools used by your business.
Because video conferencing is one of the most useful remote-work tools, many turned to Zoom as the pandemic forced professionals out of their offices. It was reported that Zoom gained more users in the first few months of 2020 than all of 2019. This sudden uptick in traffic spurred Zoom to address security concerns plaguing their virtual conference rooms. The company has taken great lengths to update and address the security of their video calls.
In the case of Zoom, a quick and thorough response to security concerns was critical. Responsiveness can protect your company’s and customers’ data — it can also greatly impact the perception of your business. While having a clean record is ideal, businesses that are prompt and sincere in their response can retain and fortify the trust of their clients.
Overall, rather than being pressure-prompted by adverse circumstances, it is far more beneficial to build security measures into your platform. Doing so could save your business a great deal of time and money in the long run.
Good Privacy Practices
Now is a good time to examine data governance at your business and the security of your data storage systems — whether they are in the form of data lakes, data warehouses or a combination of both. Secure connections, proper encryption and effective user roles are just three examples of data lake and data warehouse security. It is extremely important to encrypt sensitive data and personally identifiable information (PII) while the data is in transit and at rest.
Here are some additional data security and privacy practices for your business:
- Follow data privacy guidelines – Businesses with clients in the EU are required to follow GDPR guidelines regarding data privacy and the secure storage and management of data. Fines for failing to follow guidelines are hefty and could cause a great deal of legal trouble. Due to this, awareness of and adherence to GDPR guidelines is essential.
- Defend against phishing attacks – Humans are habitual creatures who do not always think before they click. What may seem like a harmless link can actually be a virus. Follow up with employees periodically to refresh their awareness of email privacy and security.
- Lock or log out of computers while away – Whether you are leaving for the day or stepping away from your desk, it is a good security practice to put your computer to sleep or log out — anything that will make your computer prompt a password upon your return. This will help to avoid leaving insecure data available for anyone who happens to walk by.
- Change passwords periodically – Many companies will encourage or require employees to change their passwords at least once a year to enhance company security. Additionally, employees should not share passwords or login information with their coworkers or anyone outside of the company.
- Multi-factor authentication – While password protection is a good first step toward data security, multi-factor authentication provides additional layers of protection by asking users to verify their login attempts. You may have experienced two-factor or multi-factor authentication if you’ve ever been prompted to enter a code that was sent to your smartphone or email address when attempting to log in. An automated phone call or biometric verification (e.g. face scan or fingerprint) are two other examples of multi-factor authentication.
- Enterprise security – TechRadar highlights the importance of traditional firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and advanced threat detection for businesses while warning against overconfidence in the abilities of VPNs. In the absence of these security measures, they offer a few tips for how companies can maintain a secure workforce in the midst of remote work.
Developing Secure Software and Mobile Apps
Security is an important consideration for any mobile app or piece of custom software. 7T takes great care to consider the security needs of our clients and has experience integrating thorough security features into our development projects.
A few of our top security features include 4096-bit SSL encryption, blockchain, biometric authentication and our Brigade messaging and security platform that enables remote wipe, geofencing, ephemeral messaging and more.
7T also offers Sertics, a secure data governance platform and data lake creation tool for businesses looking to manage their data and enable data visualization and analytics.
Based in Dallas, 7T works with clients in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Chicago and the greater United States. To learn more about 7T’s security and software development expertise, connect with our team today.