How to Overhaul Your Document Security for WFH

In the last year, many businesses shifted to having a work from home (WFH) setup. In the United States alone, 42% of the labour force is working full-time from the comfort of their own home

Though working remotely has numerous advantages, one of the major disadvantages of this setup is that it poses various risks to document security. A few examples of these risks include cyberattacks, the unintended exposure of sensitive information, and stolen/lost paper documents.

To address such risks, businesses need to have stringent practices and/or have the needed technological solutions available to their employees. In this article, we will explore ways to effectively enhance work-from-home document security.

Let’s get started! 
Overhead shot of woman working from home on her laptop

1. Train Employees on Essential Digital Security Practices

During this time, cybercriminals are fully aware that most businesses and their employees are still adapting to the challenges brought about by adopting a work from home setup. As such, these cybercriminals are prepared to cash in on this opportunity through various modes of attack – whether it’s through socially-engineered phishing emails or by exploiting vulnerable public Wi-Fi hotspots. 

In fact, email scams (mostly relating to COVID-19) have increased by up to 667% in March alone. Additionally, during recent months, there’s been a 105% increase in ransomware.

Therefore, it’s clear that the first line of defence to ensuring work from home document security is to train your employees on the essentials of cybersecurity. 

When training employees on the best cybersecurity practices, you should make sure to touch on key points such as:

  • Different kinds of cyberattacks, how to detect them, and what next steps to take
  • Why using USB devices and public Wi-Fi should be avoided as much as possible
  • How to avoid risky downloads and websites that can corrupt devices with malware 
  • Why the use of personal devices for work tasks should be strictly avoided

2. Implement Strong Passwords for Every Employee

Brute-force attacks, also known as brute-force cracking, is a method of hacking which uses every single password to arrive at the correct one. Due to recent global events, the number of brute-force attacks in the United States alone jumped from 200.000 before the pandemic to 800,000 by mid-March, 2020. By April 2020, the number of such attacks quickly escalated to 1.4 million.

When a password is compromised, hackers can gain access to all your data and documents. Therefore, having strong passwords is one of the ways to ensure work from home document security. 

There are a number of ways to ensure the strength of passwords used is sufficient, such as:

  • Instructing employees regarding best practices in password strength and confidentiality
  • Running a password audit to expose any weak passwords
  • Making use of an enterprise-level password manager (e.g. Last Pass, Dashlane, Keeper)

3. Resetting Default Wi-Fi Router Passwords

Major security compromises can come from something as easily overlooked as default Wi-Fi router passwords. If a hacker is able to guess the default password of the Wi-Fi network, they can access the network and upload malicious firmware updates that enable them to spy on the users within that network. 

In most older routers, the default password is something common and easy to guess – such as “admin” or “password.” Some manufacturers may also give their routers a common password that hackers may know about. These are particularly vulnerable default passwords. Newer routers, however, usually come with a unique password per router that is generated by the manufacturer. 

Since you cannot simply assume that all routers used by your employees have a strong and unique password, it would be best to guide them in resetting their default Wi-Fi routers. This way, you can further ensure document security in a work from home setup. 

4. Consider Providing Employees with VPN Access

The main function of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is to give you privacy and anonymity as you do online tasks. VPN’s can do this by building a tunnel of encryption between your traffic and any entity that tries to spy on your online activities. This level of security can be counted on whether you are using home Wi-Fi or public Wi-Fi networks. 

Because of the aforementioned benefits, VPN’s can be useful for individuals and businesses. It can be an added measure to ensure that the data and documents pertinent to your business stay safe.

Some of the top enterprise-level VPN’s in the market include NordVPN Teams, Perimeter81, and Torguard.   

5. Consider Having Managed IT Services

To fully ensure the security of your documents, information, and data, you could consider having Managed IT services for your business. 

Managed IT services by Integr8 offers you customized, round-the-clock service. You can access IT assistance any time from highly-experienced staff and technical support. You will also have access to updated tools that allow you to detect and respond to malicious activity faster. 

Overhead shot of woman working from home on her laptop

6. Have Policies to Limit the Risks of Paper Documents

Paper documents can present numerous risks, such as theft, accidental leaking of sensitive information, and/or the document getting lost. In a work-from-home setup, such risks are even harder to contain. This is why it is advisable to limit or eliminate the following:

  • Printing of sensitive information
  • Relying solely on the hard copy of a document  
  • Having only hard copies to bear important signatures

Instead of relying on paper documents it would be best to digitize all your businesses important work. This brings us to our next point. 

7. Consider the Use of a Digital Document Management System

Digital document management system (DMS) is a system that makes digital documentation organized and efficient. Not only does this help you avoid the risks associated with using paper documents, but it also helps secure documents in other ways. 

So far, we’ve spoken about document security risks that come from outside of the organization, mainly from cybercriminals. However, there are also threats from within the business, such as:

  • Sensitive information accessed and/or shared by the wrong people
  • Untraceable, unauthorized changes to documents
  • Untraceable, unauthorized permanent deletion of important documents

With the top-notch Digital Document Management System by Integr8, you can avoid all of the above risks. This system allows you to track, store, and manage access to all your digital documents. This system also takes care of ensuring that each document has the right metadata and that it has all the complete and correct information, in alignment with your business processes.  

Managed IT Services and Digital Document Management for Your Business

In this article, we’ve covered some of the common document security risks along with what you can do about them. Having Managed IT services and a digital document management system are the most effective solutions to minimize external and internal document security risks.  

Here at Integr8, we give solutions that are truly centred on the needs of your business by providing a thorough audit of your digital setup from which we customize solutions. If you’d like to learn more about the above solutions and what we can do for you, contact us today!

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