Simplify Your Remote Work Security and Systems with These 5 Tips

If you frequent our blog, you know how often we talk about remote work and how it’s here to stay. However, just as you would with any digital platform or piece of technology you add to your SMB, you want to ensure its optimized for maximum effectiveness.

While there are certainly plenty of digital tools you can purchase to help optimize your remote work infrastructure, the most efficient ways to optimize it are through educating your team on the most effective security practices when working remotely, helping your IT team gain complete control over your infrastructure, and streamlining your network to allow for easy collaboration. Below are a few ways you can ensure your team is getting the most productivity out of your remote work system.

Keep Remote Work Security Practices Consistent

One of the most pivotal things to guarantee your remote work network is secure is to ensure everyone in the organization is on the same page when it comes to security. Every company is different – one industry’s telework practices may vastly differ in comparison from another, based on needs. With new employees especially, it’s important to clearly define your remote work security practices, as they may differ from those they may have followed with previous employers.

The best, and quite possibly only, way to achieve this is to maintain consistent and well-defined policies when it comes to remote work. These security policies should be easily accessible to your entire team and reviewed every six to 12 months across the company.

Keep Your Remote Work Security Practices Simple

We’ve already mentioned that your security practices should be easy to access, but they should also be easy to understand as well. While everyone comes with a certain level of technical understanding, just because they work on computers all day or know how to start a Webex meeting doesn’t mean they fully understand IT security (I certainly did not!).

The good news is that they don’t have to take IT 101 to keep your network secure. There are plenty of simple and effective practices every employee should follow anytime they log into work from home or their favorite work spot.

  • Make sure employees log in to work only on secure devices approved by your organization and installed with the latest security software.
  • Emphasize the need for employees to guard their hardware when not in use. For example, if an employee likes to work in their favorite coffee shop, they shouldn’t leave their work laptops alone to use the restroom.
  • Use strong passwords. Passwords should be complex, using a series of numbers, letters, and symbols. They should not include the names of family members, pets, or birth dates that are easy for hackers to look up. Remember, reusing passwords, even if they are complex, is a security threat!
  • Don’t share passwords with people inside or outside of the organization.

These are just a few ways your team can protect your network remotely without having to be an expert in all things cybersecurity.

Gain Visibility and Control Over Any Network

While remote work is convenient, it increases the risk of cybersecurity threats. While many of the best practices we mentioned above are incredibly helpful, they are completely in your remote workers’ hands. It’s also important for you to have control over your network when your team is working in-office, at home, or on the go.

Utilizing a zero-trust remote work security model is the way to go. Where traditional models would trust anyone on your network, the premise of this model is that it trusts no one. For example, these systems require verification from any user before they gain access to your network and may even ask for additional credentials any time they access certain areas of your network. Things like multi-factor authentication (MFA) are a great example because they require multiple forms of authentication, not a single password, to gain access. Additional forms of “distrust” inside the network also help to limit damage in case someone does manage to hack into your network.

If you’re not sure where to start, checking out Cisco Secure Hybrid Work solutions can help keep your network extra secure by providing end-to-end security from anywhere and throughout your entire network. Inclusions like Cisco Duo will authenticate users before granting access to your network and extend that security across all apps outside of the office.

Meanwhile, Cisco Firewalls will give your IT teams unparalleled visibility into your network and across all your devices to ensure the people on your network belong there. Since no security solution is 100% impermeable, it’s imperative that you have a system in place to detect when a breach occurs and can swiftly deal with it before any major issues arise. With visibility into your network, your IT team can identify any odd user behavior that may signal a cybersecurity breach. Through this, IT teams can prevent any widespread damage or theft – even if a breach has occurred.

Allow Teams to Connect and Collaborate Seamlessly

It used to be that connecting remotely meant sacrificing collaboration. Luckily, times have changed, and it’s easier than ever for teams to connect and collaborate from anywhere.

Virtual meetings can now reliably connect thousands of people on a single call. That amount of collaboration is something SMBs will rarely need, but what they do need is a space where teams can share documents and communicate securely. Beyond that, remote collaboration needs to be affordable, simple to set up, and have plenty of support to stay connected if it’s going to compete with in-person collaboration.

Products like Cisco’s Webex allow teams to call, message, and meet seamlessly under a single subscription so they can stay productive – and you can manage that collaboration with ease.

Since the needs of each SMB are different, you’ll also need the flexibility to customize your collaboration platform. This also helps companies avoid some of the unnecessary utility bloat of some “all-in-one” platforms. Cisco Webex also allows you to select add-ons that align with your SMB’s specific needs, such as events calendars, expanded audio options for meetings, and more.

Prepare for Growth

Finally, no SMB expects to stay the same size for long. When choosing a network and collaboration solution for your business, make sure to pick options that can scale with your company. What makes Cisco unique from any other company on the planet is that we have decades of experience working with companies large and small. When designing Cisco solutions, we draw on that experience to ensure our products grow with your SMB.

Choosing the right remote work systems for your SMB is easy. We have a large list of customizable solutions that can keep your teams connected and secure.  But if you need help selecting, our team of experts have you covered. Contact a Cisco expert today, and our team will help you find the perfect fit to keep your workforce productive.



Ian Thompson

Leader, SMB Marketing

Americas Growth Marketing