10 steps to protect remote workers’ network

Due to the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, many companies decide to send employees to work remotely, often on their own computer equipment. Unfortunately, organizations that have never before considered such a movement do not yet have adequate rules governing this mode of work. What’s worse, it’s challenging to prepare them on the spot. The increasingly popular BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) solution comes with help for IT teams. Here are the Top 10 BYOD Best Practices that you can implement now.

1) Limit OS versions and device platforms to reduce IT support overload

Consider what device platforms and OS versions you want to support. Make sure the mobile devices you are allowing are equipped with the features you require and state which mobile device platforms and OS versions you will support.

2) Device enrollment process — allow authorized devices only

Establish what criteria you will use to block devices from connecting to your network. Make sure it is clearly stated in your policy that mobile devices must be registered and authenticated before they connect to the company network. This allows for detecting unauthorized devices on the network.

3) Require strong passwords

Consider how complex passwords should be and how often you should force users to change their passwords. Passwords should be enforced for all mobile devices accessing your network.

4) Decide on WLAN Access

Think about whether you will enforce company WLAN access when on-site. Doing so can save data cost and device battery, as well as speed up network access. In your policy, set and specify enforcement of your organization’s WLAN access.

5) Ensure data privacy and content distribution control

Consider whether you will let your users save, print, email, etc. certain kinds of content. The important thing here is control. You want to set mobile data leakage prevention policies and monitor your users’ compliance. Make sure you lay out every detail about how sensitive data will be handled.

6) Create a list of allowed and banned apps to prevent future problems

Decide and list which apps your organization allows and bans. Focus on banning genuinely harmful apps. Make sure these are all laid out along with what users should expect if they are violated. Also, make sure your critical business apps are secure and segregated on the devices.

7) Securely disable lost or stolen devices

Lay out a process in your policy for users to follow if they lose their device, or it’s stolen. Users need to be aware that they are required to notify IT when this happens so the device passwords can be remotely reset or wiped and unauthorized access to confidential company data prevented.

8) Enable data encryption on devices

Encrypt sensitive data stored on personal devices with secure encryption. Full device encryption is best, but if that isn’t feasible, all sensitive data should be stored in encrypted folders on the device. Lay out fully your enforcement of encrypted data and block devices that do not have encryption enabled from the network.

9) Prepare steps in case of employee departure

If there is likely to be any sensitive data on a users’ mobile device, you need to provide a plan for your employee’s departure. State whether your organization will require a total device wipe or a selective wipe of certain apps and data.

10) Have it all described and signed-in user agreement

Last but not least. Users need to be aware of everything in the BYOD policy and sign an agreement of their acknowledgment of the terms before their enrollment into BYOD. Apply this process consistently for BYOD all devices.

Remote workers may present challenges for IT teams, but a combination of best practices, stable policy, and user awareness campaign could keep company data safe for all employees outside the office walls. Implementing above measures not only ensures smoother company performance in difficult times. Upgrading your network to meet the growing demands of remote work shows how vital IT network is to today’s businesses. Now IT is no longer just cost, it has now become blood and oxygen for companies in lockdown.

AdRem Software makes award-winning commercial and freeware network monitoring & management software trusted by thousands of admins worldwide www.adremsoft.com