Switching To Remote Work In Response To Covid-19
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Is your team ready for remote work during the Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis? You might be overlooking key tech security issues. Read this post to learn more.
Let’s face it. The global economy is shifting due to COVID-19 and the associated measures taken to help prevent the spread of the virus. In many cases, companies are in the process of switching all employees to remote work to keep from shutting down—but that comes with a unique set of challenges that most haven’t thought all the way through.
Is your team ready for remote work during the Coronavirus crisis? Let’s look at a few of the aspects you need to pay attention to as your business makes this transition and what could happen if you aren’t totally prepared.
From a technical aspect, remote work is a great way to help keep your business running during a potential health quarantine. However, it does come with a variety of risks. For example, employees working on personal computers and smartphones likely don’t have the same security firewalls that they do at the office. This creates a situation where it becomes very easy for hackers to potentially expose data or for accidental breaches to occur, such as an employee transferring a file with sensitive information.
Furthermore, it is important to realize that even supplying laptops and other devices doesn’t fully protect company assets. Personal networks—such as the ones your employees have at home—likely don’t have the same level of overall protection as your office network. Which could mean a rise in hacking attacks over the next few weeks or months as we ride out the health risk? And, what do you do if a well-meaning employee has an accident at home with a company asset—such as a child or pet accidentally causing physical damage to equipment? These are all things that managers need to be aware of an have a plan in place to handle.
The reason why we bring this up is that there is a vast difference between having a team with the option to work from home and being forced into the situation by a national emergency. Most people who opt for remote work during normal times work directly with security teams to help ensure their off-site setup is secure. During a crisis, this goes largely out of the window because there simply isn’t time to put protocols in place. Without documented warnings, protocols, and expectations in place, it becomes pretty easy for employees to fall victim to phishing scams and malware.
To help keep issues to a minimum, there are a few steps you can take. For starters, make sure you are documenting everything that happens throughout the process. This will help reduce questions later if there is a significant incident that occurs. Furthermore, you should also install behavioral analytics tools to see if any suspicious activities or behaviors are happening while employees who handle sensitive information are working remotely.
On the practical side, preparing your employees for remote work goes far beyond just simply making sure your computers are setup correctly. As a manager, you should strategize on how to keep your team in communication during this unique time period. For some companies, this might mean utilizing a messaging service such as Slack to help keep everyone on the same page. Other options include video chat or conference calls throughout the day to allow everyone on the team to stay in touch.
If you haven’t already consulted with a tech expert on how to best prepare your team for remote work, Tier One Technology Partners can help. We offer a wide range of managed IT services to suit your needs and would be happy to assist as your company makes this sudden transition. Please contact us today for details.
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