Many employees who were not familiar with remote working before have now been forced to work from home due to safety measures regarding COVID-19. As everyone rushes to set up workstations at home due to the pandemic and prolonged lock down, this can result in many unwanted security issues in company data.
With business continuity plans becoming the most important part of your business, the security of your data shouldn’t be compromised. As business leaders, it is essential to take the right measures against cybercriminal activities on a larger scale.
Given our current circumstances, it is the right time to shed some light on a few necessary security tips for employers to ensure everyone working from home is using proper practices on data security.
1. Help your employees set up a secure home workspace
Much of what we’re talking about all comes down to the employees. It used to be that companies took care of maintaining security measures in their organizations, like maintaining IP restrictions, anti-virus software, and private secure networks. Now, with extended work from home situations, employees must ensure they do not ignore the security measures their business has put in place to protect its data. From using offering more robust anti-virus support and secure VPNs for sensitive work to keeping their operating system updated, even the small things should be given extra care.
The threat of poor cybersecurity becomes more substantial if employees choose to work from their own devices. The company must strongly encourage employees to create and maintain a secured home workspace. Also, common mistakes like leaving their systems unlocked and not protecting the devices with stronger passwords should be avoided at these crucial times.
2. Make your employees aware of email phishing attacks
In recent times, it has become more common to receive phishing emails, which makes them an increasingly concerning. Now, with almost everyone working remotely, it is expected to have a rise in Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud mails. Few ways to prevent your employees from becoming victims of these fraudulent emails are to teach them to pay precise attention to the senders and tag the mails coming from outside your organization as ‘External’.
Your organization also has to keep people aware of this by keeping in constant touch with your employees and implementing strong email security measures. Running mock security tests among employees can help them understand what to do in these situations.
3. Create a collaborative workspace
Information security threats are continually evolving in new ways. Despite safeguarding stored data, it is also necessary to be cautious during data transfers.
Emailing confidential business data is an inherently insecure way of data sharing. If this is a common practice in your organization, it is vital for your business to find an alternative, secure way to share information. There are some document collaboration software option like WorkDrive which offer safe data sharing through secured links, protected by passwords and expiration dates. WorkDrive even gives the sender complete control over the data even after sharing is done.
4. Track your team activity
Generally, there is always more of a threat to business data from the insiders who accidentally can leak important information, or mistakenly create open-door access to intruders. This should be carefully avoided by continually monitoring your team’s data access.
Tracking every employee’s activity manually is impossibly tedious work, but with the right platform, it can be a more straightforward task to control data accessibility. You can also perform random activity checks and export activity reports for future use.
5. Help remote employees stay healthy
Working from home is not just going to be a trend that will fade away in time. According to Buffer, 99% of the remote workers would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their career. Even before the Covid situation, many companies have started to introduce remote working as a part of their business plans to extend their employee base and other various reasons.
As remote working now becomes the new normal, it is essential to find the right balance in your employees’ mental and physical health. Many people might feel lonely and feel isolated or unmotivated without any social interactions. This in turn can become a big productivity stopper for organizations. Your business leaders should encourage their remote employees to practice healthy living and encourage them to exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, and spend quality time with their loved ones.
We believe that these steps can help you set up safe and healthy work from home environments for your employees. There is no doubt that, with time, people will adapt to the remote working processes, but for now, it’s up to our business leaders to set them up for the right start.