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Best Practices for Securing Sensitive Data while Working Remotely

May 2024 by Alice DiSanto, VP of Global Marketing, Rajant Corporation

Today, many companies and workers must mitigate the challenge of ensuring cybersecurity when handling sensitive data or classified information. When workforces are separated across state or international lines, both internal and external communications must be protected against an array of cyber threats. Not only do organizations lose credibility and reputation during an attack, but they lose productivity and profitability.

In 2023, data breaches cost the average business $4.45 million. When the impacted business is a medical facility or military operation, costs extend further than money, with lives on the line. These threats are growing in frequency and complexity and target businesses of all sizes. However, there are many ways that organizations and individuals can help protect against harmful actors that could cause unprecedented damage. Here, we’ll review a few tactics that workers and administrators can adopt to help protect against cyber threats.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Encrypted communication channels can be used to transmit sensitive data. This includes utilizing secure email services, encrypted messaging apps, and virtual private networks (VPNs) when accessing company networks or sensitive information. End-to-end encryption ensures that data remains encrypted throughout transmission, protecting it from unauthorized access.

Remote workers can use VPNs to create encrypted connections between their devices and corporate networks. VPNs encrypt data transmitted over the internet, preventing unauthorized parties from intercepting sensitive information. By connecting to a VPN, remote workers can securely access corporate resources and communicate with colleagues without exposing sensitive data to potential threats. VPNs provide an additional layer of security, ensuring that sensitive data remains protected during remote work.

Secure Device and Network
Remote workers should keep software and operating systems up to date with the latest security patches and use reputable antivirus and anti-malware software. Additionally, remote workers should avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to handle sensitive data whenever possible, as these networks are more susceptible to interception and unauthorized access.

Rajant’s RiSM technology can help remote workers ensure end-to-end encryption of sensitive data. RiSM acts as an in-line network encryption appliance, protecting cryptographic keys and ensuring that only authorized personnel have access. By deploying RiSM, remote workers can establish a secure connection over public networks, mitigating the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access. RiSM’s compliance with NIST FIPS 140-3 standards ensures top-tier security, making it a reliable solution for sensitive information.

Implement Strong Access Controls
Remote workers can employ strong access controls to limit who can access sensitive data. This includes using multi-factor authentication (MFA) for accessing company systems and data, setting up role-based access controls (RBAC) to restrict access based on job roles and responsibilities, and regularly reviewing and revoking access for former employees or individuals who no longer require access to sensitive data. Additionally, utilizing strong, unique passwords for each account and regularly updating them can enhance security.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Remote workers can enhance security by implementing multi-factor authentication to access sensitive systems and data. MFA requires users to provide multiple verification forms, such as passwords, a one-time code sent to their mobile device, or biometric authentication. By requiring multiple factors to authenticate users, MFA reduces the risk of unauthorized access, even if passwords are compromised. Integrating MFA into remote work environments adds an extra layer of security, safeguarding sensitive data from cyber threats and unauthorized individuals.

By utilizing encrypted communication channels, strong access controls, and multi-factor authentication, remote teams can ensure the security of sensitive data and minimize the risk of cyberattacks, protecting both their organizations and the individuals they serve. With the introduction of Rajant’s RiSM technology, organizations can rest assured that cryptographic keys are robustly safeguarded and that an additional layer of security is protecting their data.

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