This is a guest blog written in partnership with Mathew Octavio, researcher and expert in cybersecurity.
Coworking spaces are emerging as a popular third space for freelancers, remote employees, and anyone seeking a sense of community.
In most coworking spaces, employees from different organizations share common infrastructures such as utilities, equipment, receptionist services, and cleaning supplies.
However, access to the network and sharing critical files makes it exceedingly difficult to control or prevent data breaching in coworking spaces. It is a constant dilemma for those managing coworking spaces, large and small.
In this article, we will be focusing on ten strategies that can help you – as a community manager or moderator – prevent data breaching incidents in a coworking environment. Let’s start the journey to safety and data security!
10 Tips for Coworking Space Owners to Combat Data Breaches in 2023
Data is valuable! As your system contains data about your traffic, credentials, passwords, banking information, company information, and browsing habits, it can provide all your data access to hackers who can use it for their benefit.
Here are ten of the most effective tips to combat data breaches and prevent these incidents in the future.
1. Strict Password Policy
Implementing a random and challenging password for all of your personal logins is a significant step in the right direction. You’ll also want to:
- Ensure you never reuse passwords
- Update them as soon as an expiry notice appears
Using a strong password is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can prevent data breaches in your coworking space.
Guiding and educating your members about how a strong password can help prevent possible cybersecurity threats can help you secure this strategy. Ensure it is clear to your members what a strong password entails and why it is essential to deploy.
2. Secure that Router
Cybercriminals can effortlessly breach your data without ever entering your premises. They can accomplish this by hacking into your network, which is much easier if your network is insecure. By enabling encryption via a dedicated IP VPN on your wireless communication, you can safeguard all the devices in your network.
Securing the router in your coworking space is a fail-proof approach that is in your control. You need to use a VPN that offers an option of encrypting and securing the router so your actual location and IP address are hidden from everyone.
3. Regular Updates
The pop-ups that appear from time to time informing us of changes are not only there to annoy us. These upgrades perform a variety of things to help you increase security. Updating your application software and operating systems is one of the greatest strategies to thwart breach attempts since the latest versions have most likely been optimized to prevent existing or upcoming data breach threats.
Encouraging your members to install upgrades on their computers can help in protecting the data on their devices. One way to do this is to conduct a lunch and learn to elaborate on the importance of updating their security software.
You can also send an email to your members to remind them to update their devices at regular intervals throughout the year.
4. Back up Important Data
Data is an organization’s most valuable asset, and it is what fraudsters aim to exploit. Therefore, storing and backing up assets containing private information is vital. In addition, backing up data may be considered an additional line of security against ransomware.
Offer your members the perk of cloud backup or external storage devices to help them save their data as a backup. You can then include this in your marketing materials or tour as a point of differentiation and a selling point.
5. Educate your Members
Educating your personnel about the grave repercussions of security breaches is critical. If a security culture is implemented at all levels of your spaces, from leadership to members, the likelihood of an otherwise avoidable data breach decreases dramatically.
Conduct regular seminars or sessions on the importance of data privacy to help your members identify helpful approaches. Of course, you can share a real example or data breach news via email or the Community Feed.
6. Prepare a Breach Response
With the increase in high-profile assaults targeting sensitive data assets, having a breach response strategy in place ahead of time aids in triggering a swift response in the aftermath of an occurrence. Such strategies aid in spotting and evaluating assaults that may otherwise go unreported.
Preparing a breach response can help you prepare for data breach incidents in advance. For example, you can make copies of critical data, save them on an external device, and prepare other options like connecting to a VPN to encrypt the internet traffic. These approaches will give you time to assess the loss and how to implement even strict safety and privacy measures.
7. Encrypt Every Transmission
Cybercriminals have no use for stolen encrypted data. Cryptography can limit access to data and render it worthless to those who do not have the key. Encryption is a significant step in mitigating the consequences of a security failure.
Encrypting every transmission through DNS or a VPN can help secure every system in your coworking space. You can use a premium VPN service to secure all the connections, as they can encrypt your internet traffic.
8. Install Firewalls
In network security, firewalls are the first line of protection. An adequately designed firewall is a barrier between networks with varying degrees of trust. You must always maintain the local firewall turned on since this is the greatest strategy to protect your network against harmful assaults.
Firewalls can help you depend on the systems in your coworking space by filtering out dangerous or redundant network traffic. Installing firewalls can also prevent malicious software from gaining access to a computer or network through the internet. Installing a firewall in your space is an affordable and effective way of securing your space.
9. Invest in Antivirus
Ensure your antivirus, antispyware, and anti-malware software is up to date, so your server is always secured and monitored. Such software guards against malicious applications stealing or damaging data assets.
Investing in an antivirus is one of the smartest choices you can make to run operations smoothly in your coworking space. However, there are plenty of antivirus options for you to pick from, pick one that offers a trial version so you can test the service. Antivirus can help you protect your connection, prevent data breach attacks, and protect your data.
10. Regular Audits
Detecting and analyzing suspicious behavior allows you to identify potentially risky scenarios that might lead to a significant breach in the future. Auditing your network infrastructure regularly is a best practice that may save money and protect your company’s image.
Regular security audits can help you check the security of your connections. It can also help the employee understand that you take the security of their data seriously.
Unauthorized access, data leakage, or network resource misuse are all major security breaches you want to avoid. You can prevent such incidents in your coworking space by utilizing the strategies mentioned above.
In addition, providing a safe and secure coworking environment can help you build your rapport and increase the number of employees and companies interested in renting your space. So be prepared – design a proper data breach prevention plan today before it’s too late.
About the Author:
Mathew is a cybersecurity researcher at Best Cheap VPNs; possessing keen interest in exploring advanced global tech landscape topics. He loves to educate people about online privacy, internet security and web futuristic trends. Besides that, he is a skateboard artist & an avid follower of sports.