Working with freelancers is an excellent way to tap into global talent, save money, and avoid long-term commitments. For all the benefits, one of the main drawbacks relates to cybersecurity. If your freelancers have access to your work information, you must be secure in the knowledge that they only have what they need, and your confidential company details remain safe. As challenging as that might seem, you can perfect the process by taking the following steps:
Step 1: Consult an IT Service Provider
Whether it’s one of the leading IT service providers in Melbourne or an industry-specific MSP (Managed Service Provider) in New York, it’s crucial to enlist the experts when you’re unsure how to protect your business and its confidential information. They can assist with access restrictions, cybersecurity software, training, and other general IT-related tasks that will put you in a strong position to keep valuable data safe.
IT service providers can also be on-hand to help business owners, employees, and freelancers with any questions, concerns, or general troubleshooting relating to their daily operations. MSPs generally also offer 24/7 support, making them an invaluable resource for keeping your system and data safe.
Step 2: Adopt a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy
A BYOD policy is standard in the freelancing world. Whether you’re freelancing casually, part-time, or full-time, you’re often required to use your own device to access the data you need to work. Not only is this a more cost-effective option for business owners trying to save money, but it can also give you a level of control over the information they can access.
If they must access business data through cloud apps, you can withhold anything they don’t need and restrict or remove their access when necessary. The one caveat here is that it’s crucial to ensure the devices they use to work for your company are safe. So, actively check that they have encryption and basic security measures in place.
Step 3: Manage Freelancer Digital Identities
Business owners need to know which employees have access to what information, and working with freelancers is no different. Install an identity management solution for your business and create accounts for employees and freelancers.
The system will allow you to establish various layers of protection based on what each person needs to access. For example, a manager might have full access, while a freelancer handling customer inquiries might only need to access one department.
Step 4: Use Password Managers
Creating named accounts for freelancers is one of the best ways to provide secure access to company information. However, that won’t be possible in all situations. Where credentials need to be shared, consider using password managers.
These software applications allow users to store passwords for various websites, social media pages, and essentially anything online that requires unique access. Password management software gives employers more control over who has access to which passwords and can make sharing and changing passwords much safer.
Step 5: Establish Freelancer Onboarding and Offboarding Processes
If you plan to utilize multiple freelancers in your business, create clear processes for onboarding and offboarding. Established procedures reduce the risk of important steps (like removing system access) being forgotten. When the time comes for them to leave your company, you’ll have an easy process to follow, ensuring no avoidable data breaches occur.
Cyber security is of the utmost importance in any company, but its value extends beyond your office walls. Implement cyber security procedures for freelancers working remotely, and keep your confidential business information safe and secure at all times.