Securing Your Newly Remote Workforce 
Spencer Heaton, A&S System Consultants
Although working from home has been growing in popularity over the last few years, no one could have predicted that our entire employee base would become  a remote  workforce. This creates a risk for brokerage  business—you no longer control what devices access private and critical business data. How can you run your  businesses during this pandemic  while  keeping your clients’ information protected? 
 Your last line of defense but the first place you’ll likely look if your data is breached or locked down by ransomware. Run these more often than usual—at least twice a day or, more optimally, once an hour—to ensure you have a copy of your most recent data set if it’s needed. 

Antivirus Software:
 Ensure all remote users have up–to–date antivirus  software installed on their systems and you’re monitoring the devices and  servers they’re accessing. This sounds trivial but we see a lot of home systems with expired  antivirus software  trials. Consider providing software for your users if they need it—the cost is usually less than a couple dollars a month  for basic protection.   

Secure Remote Connections:
 Use access tools that offer high level encryption, services like VPN or remote access software with encryption to ensure your data isn’t freely available for criminals to see or use against you. 

Reduced Access:
 Limit what users can access to the minimum they need to do their jobs  remotely and restrict login times to business hours. Most breach attempts happen outside normal business hours, so if the user doesn’t need to login remotely at 11:00PM, turn off that ability. By restricting access to data, if accounts  are compromised, you will have  limited what can be attacked or damaged. 

If you haven’t already done so, contact your IT service provider and review  what can be done for your business and your team. They’ll have the knowledge to build a plan of attack to reduce your risk during these uncertain times. Who knows how long it will be until things return to normal—until then, take care and stay safe. 
How can you run your businesses during this pandemic while keeping your clients’ information protected?
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