How to Protect Your Remote Workforce: Computer Security Strategies


Remote opportunities can significantly increase your company’s productivity. Or, it can expose your network to critical security threats. It’s up to you to ensure the latter doesn’t happen. And since cyber threats have evolved to target remote workers, your company needs strong computer security strategies to protect your assets.

The Rise of Remote Work: A New Employment Era

Remote work is increasing every year—by 2025, an estimated 32.6 million American workers will be remote. This new employment era has brought numerous benefits to employees and employers, especially since 98% of workers are interested in working remotely. However, with this shift comes new computer security challenges that must be addressed to protect your remote workforce:

  • Unsecured networks
  • Endpoints exposure
  • Human error
  • Unreliable devices
  • Lack of direct supervision

Key Computer Security Terms

Before we dive into strategies to protect your remote workforce, let’s review key security terms that will be used throughout this guide:

  • Firewall: A network security system to monitor and control incoming and outgoing traffic based on predetermined security rules.
  • Endpoint Security: The practice of securing endpoints (devices) such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and servers that connect to your network.
  • Antivirus Software: A software program designed to prevent, detect, and remove malware (viruses, Trojans, worms) from a computer or network.
  • VPN: Virtual Private Network is used to create a secure connection between two networks over the Internet.

Remember to Secure Individual Devices

One common mistake is neglecting to secure individual devices used by remote workers. Because these endpoints are often not supervised in the office, they pose a huge security risk. All computers, laptops, and smartphones used by remote workers should have regularly updated antivirus software, enabled firewalls, and anti-malware strategies, including robust email spam filters.

How To Establish Secure Authentication Practices

Authentication verifies a user’s identity before granting access to a system or network. Secure authentication practices are crucial for remote workers since they often work outside traditional networks.

Incorporate multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure enhanced security. This requires multiple verification forms, such as a password and a one-time code from a separate device. Additionally, enforce strong password policies so employees utilize strong, distinct passwords. Mandate periodic password updates to prevent data from being compromised.

5 Tips For Protecting Remote Desktop Connections

Without a secure remote desktop connection, remote workers can put your entire network at risk. Here are five tips to safeguard these connections and your computer security:

1. Use a VPN

Virtual private networks (VPNs) mask the user’s IP address, providing an additional layer of security while accessing company resources.

2. Limit Access to Remote Desktop Connections

Only employees who need remote desktop access should have it. Implement access controls and review and update them regularly.

3. Monitor Network Traffic

Alerts are crucial for monitoring potential security threats, especially with remote workforces becoming more popular. Implement real-time network traffic monitoring to identify and quickly respond to suspicious activity.

4. Beware of Public WiFi

Public WiFi networks are often unsecured, making them a prime target for hackers. Advise employees to use a VPN when working on public networks and restrict network access to only authorized users.

5. Implement Regular Software Updates and Patches

Outdated remote desktop software can be vulnerable to cyber threats, so ensure that all remote desktop connections are regularly updated and patched.

Data Encryption Can Upgrade Your Remote Communications

Data encryption protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and other cyber threats by converting plaintext into unreadable code. This upgrade is necessary, especially for remote workers who regularly send and receive confidential company data. Utilize data encryption tools to secure all remote communications and protect computer security.

Relieve the Stress of Remote Work Security With Unity IT

A lot of work goes into protecting a remote workforce—it can be overwhelming for small businesses without dedicated IT resources. Luckily, Unity IT specializes in providing managed IT services to help you develop and implement a secure remote workforce strategy while maximizing productivity. Contact us today to learn more!