In the age of remote work, online security threats are going to be at an all time high. Businesses of all sizes must be aware that moving to a more digital workplace will come with these added risks.
As the office moves home, employees will more likely be using unsecured networks, personal devices, and new software offerings that may open your business up to potential cyber threats.
One specific area that must be monitored will be your online meetings. Recently, it was uncovered that meeting platforms such as Zoom, were full of security risks. This quick guide will give you and your employees the skills necessary to stay safe when using online meeting platforms this year and beyond.
Choose A Secured Platform
The first step in maintaining a safe digital meeting space is by using a secured meeting platform. One of the most secure meeting tools available on the market is MyOwnConference.
MyOwnConference is a versatile software offering that provides webinar solutions, online training capabilities, and secure video conferencing to businesses of all sizes.
What sets MyOwnConference apart from the competition is its dedication to data security. MyOwnConference meetings are always digitally secured using AES encryption. This helps ensure that all of your company’s data is protected within the app. Additionally, MyOwnConference is GDPR compliant—meaning that it adheres to the general data protection regulations in the European Union.
If you are still unsure if MyOwnConference is right for your business, you can sign up for the free version of the program. This version will allow you to have meetings with up to twenty other attendees but requires the paid version for a few of the more robust features available.
Educate Your Employees
One of the biggest security threats to your business is a direct result of your own employees. In fact, experts estimate that 95% of security breaches are caused in some part by human error. This statistic is alarming, but with proper education this number surely could go down.
Even though your online meeting software may be encrypted, that does not guarantee that your company is safe from hackers. Hackers are constantly learning ways to get around barriers. Baiting or getting information from you or your employees is the easiest way around any firewall or encryption.
As your business begins to utilize online conferencing platforms more frequently, take the time to educate the entire company about best cybersecurity practices when hosting online meetings. Some best practices to follow when creating your online meetings are:
- Verify Attendees. While it may seem obvious, be sure to double check your invite list. There is a possibility that someone outside your organization has found a way to get added to the list, so before you start the meeting, make sure that everyone that is attending is supposed to be.
- Review Invite Links. If you have been invited to a webinar or meeting that is being hosted by a third-party, make sure to verify that the link you received is correct before joining. Clicking mindlessly on links from outside sources is never a good idea and can lend to security breaches.
- Work Devices Only. Personal device use will be at an all time high as the office shifts to a more remote setting. They are a hacker’s dream as they typically will have fewer security measures in place to combat attacks and protect important information. Personal devices also leave a trail of data from wherever your employees have been online before attending your meeting.
- Use a VPN. Virtual Private Networks have gained in popularity over recent years, and for a good reason. Business VPNs provide remote server access from anywhere in the world. These servers will be more secure than your network at home, making it harder for your company data to be compromised.
With hackers preying on unaware employees, it is up to you as the business owner to provide the necessary education to minimize the chance of cyber attacks.
Expand Your IT Department
As technology becomes more ingrained in our everyday lives, experts within the tech space will become more valuable. If you do not already have one, it is time to establish an IT department. Alternatively, if you already have an IT department, there is a good chance for it to be improved.
Having a skilled IT department adds another line of defense to your business’s cybersecurity efforts.
As you set out to look for a new IT professional, think about what types of skills are required to do the job. Are you focused on talent? Or experience? Do you want your candidates to have certain certifications and degrees?
Do know that, adding a whole new position, especially a technology-focused role will cost a decent amount of money. Last year, the average salary of an IT specialist was $53,000. If you need an IT Manager that cost jumps up to $123,000 a year. This does not account for benefits, onboarding, equipment, and more.
While you likely do not have a cool $123,000 laying around in the budget, this should not deter you from improving the IT department. There are a few different ways that you can help fund this new role, including:
- Re-Think Your Budget. Your 2020 budget likely has been upended with everything that is going on. Take a step back and see if some funds can be re-allocated to offset some of the costs of adding a whole new position.
- Apply For Extra Funds. Business loans are a great way to fund a new position within your company. If you need money quickly, consider applying for a small business loan from an online provider. When applying for a loan be sure to know your business’s credit score, annual revenue numbers, and how long you have been in business for.
- Take A Salary Cut. As the owner of a business, it is up to you to ensure that business succeeds. Sometimes that means putting the business above yourself. If you can afford to, consider taking a salary cut to help alleviate some funds that can be used elsewhere within the company.
Adding just one new IT expert can help improve your business’s cybersecurity tenfold.
It would be an understatement to say that cybersecurity has never been more important than in today’s current times. Small businesses were already a top target for hackers. Now, with such a dramatic shift to remote work, businesses are more susceptible than ever to security breaches. Make sure that you are following some of our best tips to ensure that your business’ data remains secure.