Remote Working During Covid-19: Strategies to Protect Intellectual Property
Every company invests a lot of resources to protect its proprietary information and trade secrets from being compromised. However, working from home can pose significant challenges in the efforts to enforce tight security measures. The lack of clearly defined security precautions can expose confidential information to breaches and unauthorized parties. Enforcing remote policies to keep intellectual property safe is imperative in safeguarding company information. Here are some practical measures that can help to keep this data secure.
Offer employee training and checklists
Employees have access to a lot of company information, and for this reason, ought to know how to protect it at all times. In any case, confidential information can only leak through employees, mostly when they entrust it to a third party or leave their computers unsecured. To avoid such blunders, it essential to train them on how to protect the company's secrets.
One effective method is to develop a program or use written material and courses to teach workers how to protect a company's infrastructure. Equally useful is a company-wide security checklist that employees can follow to take extra precautions to avoid breaches. A standardized list can go a long way in securing a company's intellectual property since it gives guidance on steps to take to protect information.
Use data encryption
Employees should understand the importance of encrypting data when working remotely since their home networks may be more vulnerable. Failure to encrypt data can lead to irreversible damages when an individual with malicious intent gains access to it. Also, a company's secrets could be exposed, further compromising clients' private information.
It is crucial to insist on the need to store data securely. Moreover, all parties who have access to the company's information should use strong passwords of at least eight characters that combine letters, numbers, and symbols. Following strong password recommendations will help to secure files, emails, and drives.
Backup important files
Data loss is common, and companies always fall victim to the activity of hackers and sometimes competitors. Accordingly, one should always back up important files to avoid losing them. More importantly, make sure to keep the backups secure. While here, consider this; • By failing to backup data, one does not only stand to lose their work but also valuable intellectual property. • Failure to properly secure backed up files could expose you to unethical practices from black hat hackers, which could provide them access to primary data stored in the device. Since working from home increases the risk of being hacked, ensuring that data is secured well can go a long way in protecting a company's trade secrets and other intellectual property.
Control who can access sensitive information
Every company should have a clear set of rules on who can access sensitive data. Only individuals with authority should be allowed to have control over this information. As such, in the case of breaches, one can be able to track down how it happened and who is responsible.
Companies should use data controls that involve using file management systems to determine who can access specific documents. Companies should also encourage employees to set physical controls where they restrict access to particular rooms or even devices.
Many employees who work from home tend to relax security measures, mostly because they interact with people they know and trust. However, setting physical barriers is one way to minimize risks, and accordingly, keep confidential data safe.
Conduct regular tests and audits
Even the safest security apparatus and firewalls are susceptible to compromise. For this reason, companies should carry out checks regularly to assess the strength of their security infrastructure. They can do this by carrying out penetration testing and network security audits. Comprehensive assessments could help to identify areas that can be exploited by hackers. Moreover, remote employees should be able to identify signs when something is wrong so that the authorities can take the necessary measures to avert possible risks.
A company's trade secrets and intellectual property are assets that should be protected, especially when dealing with remote employees. The strategies mentioned here can help to protect a company's information from those who seek to compromise it.
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