Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to shift their base to remote working, it has skyrocketed the cost of a data breach by $137,000 on average. Remote workers are going to be a target for cybercriminals in the future as well. And to make matters worse, the cybersecurity skills gap still remains an issue. 70% of cybersecurity experts say that the lack of cybersecurity skills impacts their organization. So it is crucial for your remote data science team to stay updated with the latest cybersecurity trends in order to protect your organization’s data. In this article, we will be looking into five crucial cybersecurity guidelines that you can incorporate for your remote team.
1. Use strong credentials
It has been reported that password compromise was the reason behind nearly 80% of data breaches in the year 2019. Thus, it is vital to use strong credentials to discourage hackers from compromising your passwords as one of your first-implemented cybersecurity guidelines.
Using only one password for several accounts and devices and using predictable passwords that hackers can easily guess are mistakes many data science team members make.
Below is the list of the top ten worst passwords released by NordPass, a password manager company in 2020. These passwords were exposed many times in a data breach.
Use a strong password that is not only lengthy but contains a combination of eight or more characters, upper-case letters, lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers.
A good password is one that you will not remember. So make use of a password manager like 1Password or LastPass to create and store the passwords. And avoid recycling your credentials no matter what.
2. Set up two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication offers an extra layer of security to your data. Apart from implementing a password, two-factor authentication requires you to provide a second factor during the authentication process.
Usually, you will have to enter a security code sent to your registered phone/email or a biometric factor, for instance, a fingerprint or facial scan.
Even if your password gets hacked, your data will remain uncompromised as the right to access will not rely only on the strength of your password if you implement two-factor authentication.
3. Use a VPN
VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, can create a private network from a public internet connection.
Since a VPN encrypts the internet traffic and hides your online identity, it is not easy for intruders to track your online activities and compromise data.
VPN is recommended for organizations that have gone remote as it allows employees to access local network resources securely. When you connect your device to a VPN, it will act as though it is on the same local network as the VPN.
You can also consider collaborating with a third-party Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) and you will get a team of experts to ensure your cybersecurity needs are met.
4. Know how to spot a phishing attack
According to Varonis, phishing attacks are the reason for over 80% of reported security incidents. And that in a phishing attack, $17,700 is lost every minute.
It is thus vital to know how to spot a phishing attack before it takes place. Phishing attacks are commonly carried out via emails and texts, easily prevented by implementing cybersecurity guidelines.
The attacker’s email and text will look like they are from a trusted company, so it is easy to get duped. Be cautious if you get an email or a text asking you to click on a link or open an attachment. Many victims end up giving out their credentials and face real consequences.
Here’s an example of a phishing email.
The attackers have used the Netflix Company logo and the header; that’s why it looks real. But watch out for generic greetings as in the example. If you are doing business with a company, it will use your name while greeting you.
Also, phishing emails are usually sent from a public email domain, which ends up creating a sense of urgency.
5. Frequent backup of data
This one is a no-brainer. You should frequently be backing up your data hence if your system crashes, or in case of a hard drive failure, your data will remain intact.
But to prevent data theft, when you backup your data, see that they aren’t linked to your home network. A safe way to backup your data is to copy the files to an external hard drive or transfer them to the cloud. Cloud storage services offer end-to-end encryption. And in case you run out of free storage space, you can obtain additional space for a reasonable fee.
Wrapping-Up on Cybersecurity Guidelines
There you have it! The five crucial guidelines that need to be incorporated for your remote data science team. A data breach is something that is taking place daily. In fact, 68 records get lost every second. Laying down the crucial guidelines will ensure an extra layer of security for your organization’s data.