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3 Security Best Practices When Working With Virtual Teams

Virtual Teams

We live in a technological world where we are constantly exposed to different threats; that is why especially virtual teams need to know what they are facing and how they can protect their data.

Cybersecurity is becoming more and more relevant as more and more companies are moving to the digital world. So for a moment let’s talk about its importance and why it is necessary to be shielded against cyber attackers.

Cyber Security and Virtual Teams

According to a PwC report, 55% of business executives plan to increase their cybersecurity budgets by 2021. The report also indicates that 51% will add full-time cyber staff by 2021.

The world’s focus is shifting to cybersecurity and for good reason. All the right reasons to invest in cybersecurity are presenting themselves with the digital shift that occurred in 2020 due to the pandemic. Security approaches and operations have shown a clear inclination towards certain solutions and concepts.

But What is Cybersecurity and Why is it so Necessary?

Cybersecurity refers to “the practice of protecting your digital information, devices, and assets. This includes personal information, accounts, files, photos, and even money.” – Microsoft

The acronym “CIA” is often used to represent the three pillars of cybersecurity.

Confidentiality: keeping secrets and ensuring that only authorized users can gain access to your files and accounts.

Integrity: ensuring that your information is as it should be and that no one has inserted, modified, or deleted things without your permission.

Access: ensuring that you can access your information and systems when you need it.

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What are the Top Risks Facing Virtual Teams in 2021?

Although the pandemic boosted remote working and it is possible that confidential information spills will be created, the main risks facing virtual teams fall into two major ones:

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

In the last year, email communication has grown exponentially. Taking advantage of this situation, cybercriminals are impersonating co-workers, managers, and even suppliers.

One of the most common practices, in this case, are emails from managers requesting passwords, confidential documents, and even bank transfers. This is a form of phishing.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malware that is on the rise; it locks the user’s files or devices and then demands an anonymous online payment to restore access.

One of the most common methods of infecting computers is through malicious spam. This consists of unsolicited messages that are used to send malware via email. The email message may include booby-trapped attachments, such as PDFs or Word documents. It may also contain links to malicious websites.

How Can We Avoid These Risks When Working With Virtual Teams?

The best prevention starts with information. It is important to keep up to date on practices, software, and latent risks. You should certainly inform your team about these topics, as well.

Many companies now rely on training courses in the onboarding process. This helps promote awareness of risks and how to avoid them.

Here are three essential practices to ensure cybersecurity in your company:

Password Management

It is important to have very good password hygiene in virtual teams. Using complex passwords promotes this. The length of the password should be at least 10 characters that include lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

In the same way, remote workers should also have a personal password, which they should change regularly. Try to avoid using the same password for the whole team and share them through electronic means.

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Keep Antivirus and Firewalls up to date

Despite the fact that they are a technology that is many years old, they are still and will continue to be the main walls against cyber-attacks. They eliminate and briefly stop most of the malware already known in the network.

Make sure your virtual team uses antivirus and keeps it up to date. Firewalls are useful as they can filter unused network ports, preventing any unwanted and unwanted traffic or leaks.

Use of VPN

VPN is a virtual private network that helps small business owners enable their employees to work virtually and securely.

VPNs provide remote workers with access to company resources by connecting their computers to a secure network. It is important to encrypt your company data and prevent an outsider from intercepting it.

You can check some providers such as ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, or PrivateVPN, among others.

Is it Safe to Work with Virtual Teams?

Thanks to the expansion of remote work in the last year and a half, many companies are facing new challenges. One of them has to do with cybersecurity and the best ways to prevent cyber-attacks.

However, we have seen that remote work is here to stay. There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are cost savings and an increase in productivity.

In order to take into account the gaps that often remain in this new corporate normal, it is necessary, firstly, to be informed. Secondly, regularly update the information to the entire team. Third, maintain good cybersecurity practices.

As long as the above conditions are met, it is safe to work with virtual teams.

Every new strategy sounds dangerous at first, but with practice, good advice, and tools, you can build secure and reliable virtual teams.

If you want to start working with virtual assistants who are trained and know how to apply the best security practices, contact us!

Claudia
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