Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, many organizations had already realized the advantages of remote working. With the virus leading to the limiting and even criminalization of social interactions, most organizations have been forced to operate remotely to ensure continuity. Even for FinTech companies handling vital financial records, employees have had to take their work home to help curb the spread of the virus. This difficult period might, therefore, be the period with the highest organizational data being accessed from personal devices and networks. This comes with imminent risks.
With a large amount of sensitive data now being accessed outside secure business premises and devices, hackers have increased their rate of targeting susceptible systems. Owing to the legal, social, and financial repercussions of information falling into the wrong hands, every business must take extra measures to protect their data especially if they have personnel working remotely. For FinTech companies, the nature of the information they handle makes it especially critical that all measures be taken to prevent an attack. The fallback from the exposure of people’s financial records would be too big for even an established FinTech organization to survive. Below are some ways FinTech companies can prevent unaffordable breaches during this risky period.
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4 Important Data Security Tips to Protect FinTech Organizations with Remote Workers
For most organizations, it was standard for employees working remotely to take company property such as tablets and laptops as these were already set up with appropriate security measures. With almost all employees now having to work from home, it becomes a huge financial burden to supply everyone with these devices, making it necessary that some employees work from their own devices.
To ensure that their devices are not targeted by hackers, it is important to add these to the company registry. This will ensure they are listed for the latest security updates to prevent breaches. When such devices are listed, it also becomes easier to follow up on the flow of data in case of a breach, making it easier to contain problems and to identify the cause to ensure accountability.
To facilitate the smooth flow of data for remote workers, most organizations have resorted to cloud services that allow controlled access of data by the employees who are authorized. It is therefore critical that FinTech Companies take great care when choosing their cloud providers. A GDPR Compliant cloud-based server will ensure that organizational data is handled and processed in a manner that does not pose any risk to sensitive data.
Before giving employees access to the cloud servers, they should be briefed on the sensitive nature of the data, and the necessary measures are taken to protect their devices. Company data should never be stored or transferred through personal accounts as these pose an imminent security risk to the information and makes auditing difficult due to the increased chain of custody.
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After the pandemic when things finally resume to normal, most companies will require their employees to get back to working from the office as this is safer. For security, it will be wise to follow up on the devices that had access to company data or servers to sanitize them. The proper erasure of these data and the destruction of hard drives is important as they are vulnerable if they fell into malicious hands.
When performing data erasure on these devices, it is important to seek the services of professional data destruction companies with proof of destruction for GDPR compliance. If an employee is terminated while working from home, it is important to follow up and clean up their devices, revoke their access, and change passwords to prevent them from becoming security risks.
For most businesses, having remote workers has always been uncharted territory. The employees should, therefore, be trained to prevent them from making mistakes that could land sensitive data at the mercy of cyber attackers. Security awareness programs will enable each member of staff to know their role in the cybersecurity of the organization and the consequences of not following the set guidelines and procedures.
Trained employees will be on the lookout for suspicious phishing attempts and emails that could place their organization at risk. With your members of staff all following the necessary security procedures, it will be easier to locate and seal a breach before it can do major damages to the organizational operations.
On the bright side, working remotely brings advantages such as more flexible working schedules for employees and less organizational resources used for organizations that do it correctly. By following the tips provided above, FinTech companies could reap the benefits remote working offers while shielding themselves from debilitating attacks to ensure continuity even in these uncertain times.
This article was written by Micheal Mulcahy of Wisetek. Micheal is an expert in data security and has advised companies on methods to ensure their data is secure while employees are working remotely.
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