May 22, 2024

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How to Secure Your Network When Your Employees Are Working From Home

4 min read

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, leading to more and more people transitioning to working from home. It is estimated that about 49 percent of the American workforce is currently working from home, equaling almost 77 million people.

Trying to work remotely poses many different challenges for the employees and the company as a whole. One of the biggest challenges is finding a way to help ensure that your company network is fully secure when your workforce needs to access the company database and sensitive information from home. Luckily, there are a variety of tools available to help achieve suitable network security even when your employees are remote.

Equip the Router With WPA3

The very first step that should be taken to help secure your network is making sure that each of your employees is using the proper router settings. This tech should be the last line of defense in security since it will help to prevent outsiders from guessing passwords to enter the network. Therefore, it is crucial that people are using the highest level of encryption on their router in order to protect their home wifi network.

Although WPA2 was seen as the optimal router setting for many years, it has recently been replaced with the far superior WPA3. This advanced level of router encryption makes it far more difficult to simply guess network passwords. If they somehow manage to crack the password, WPA3 also makes it impossible for someone to try and decrypt any data they obtained before that point.

Luckily, most modern routers will already come with this ability built into them. Therefore, the employees will only need to make sure that they are turning it on or upgrading to a new router if their current one does not offer WPA3 encryption.

Provide a VPN Service

Another incredibly valuable tool in the quest for complete network security is a virtual private network (VPN) service. By using one of these services, it adds a secondary layer of network security in addition to the WPA3 encryption.

It does so by making the IP address of each employee’s private information unavailable to websites, encrypting the employee’s data transfers while in transit, and also making it impossible to track the location of the employee. While this technology was not widely used 10 or 15 years ago, it has now become a staple of remote workers. And since your company is temporarily a remote workplace, a VPN is essential for each employee.

But not just any VPN will be suitable. There are a lot of options out there, with quite a few of them being severely limited in their features. So it is better to pick a high-quality VPN like NordVPN and then provide this service to your remote employees. This way, you can ensure that all employees are using a service that provides sufficient security.

Use an Identity Verification Application

While having a router with WPA3 encryption and a good VPN will already be extremely secure, it doesn’t provide the full amount of security that you can have for your business network. When you’re dealing with extremely sensitive information, having anything less than total security is risky. That is why it is a good idea to upgrade to an ID verification application that can be used by every one of your remote employees to provide complete protection from things like data breaches.

When you have employees working remotely, how are you going to be able to verify someone is who they appear to be? There is always the possibility that an employee’s system could be compromised and someone else could be impersonating them in order to get access to sensitive company information.

Thankfully, there are applications like Ipsidy’s Identity Portal that help ensure you are interacting with the right person every time. When someone tries to login to the portal system, it immediately requires them to confirm their identity, which they can do by using their mobile device to take a selfie as well as a picture of their government ID. Once this is done, the employee will be labeled as a “proofed” employee and lets you know that you can share things like access credentials without worrying that they are going to the wrong person. And to make it even more effective, the portal provides you with an out-of-band, private encrypted channel that connects directly between your device and the employee’s device.

There is also the possibility to obtain dutiable biometric consent for highly sensitive company information like payroll distributions, IT change orders, bill payment authorizations, and much more. This level of identity confirmation helps to significantly elevate the quality of your network security.

By using all three of these features, it provides you with the trifecta of network security. This allows your company to forge ahead in confidence as your employees work safely from home.

Philip Beck is CEO of Ipsidy — a leading provider of mobile biometric security solutions.  He has 30 years in Fintech, international business, payments and law and was the founder, chairman and CEO of Planet Payment Inc.

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