With so many people working from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak, organizational IT security is stretched thin. It is important that you know how to maintain operational integrity while prioritizing security when your whole staff is working from home.
Here are three variables you should consider when deploying a remote workforce.
Deploying employee devices to meet your business demands is a risky proposition unless you have the right security measures in place. You will want to give your employees the technology that will give them the best chance to succeed; and, won’t cause any unnecessary problems for your data and network security. This is largely because of the way people utilize their personal PCs.
On a workstation, people are told which software to use and stick to those titles, but on a person’s personal PC they have all types of software that your network administrator is unfamiliar with. This software, on a personal PC may not be updated and patched, leaving open vulnerabilities that could, very easily become major problems for your company.
Since most people that work from home are using a personal device, you need a way to protect your company’s assets from the quagmire some personal PCs present. One way is to provide remote access software. This will allow users to actually remote into their workstation at work and use the resources like they would if they were sitting at their desks. The one problem with remote software is that it is often targeted by cybercriminals. You will want to ramp up network security and demand authentication procedures be enhanced when allowing computers to access business resources remotely.
In the same vein, when working remotely, some employees will be using shared networks. This can cause your IT administrator a lot of headaches. Most users haven’t set up network and cybersecurity resources that are as comprehensive as the ones that the business has. For this reason your employees’ networks are typically much less secure. Even the networking hardware that they use, often people’s only line of defense, is lacking as the software that runs on it isn't always updated.
Probably most importantly here is the user. At home, on their home PC, they are much more likely to do things that they would never think of doing on their workstation in the office. Adding to that, without the constant security reminders they get at work, they are less apt to follow best practices as their workplace enters their home space. You need to ensure that you make the point that just because they are working at home doesn’t mean that any of the practices that they've been drilled on can be ignored. Remind them the dangers of phishing attacks and how it is even more important to be vigilant about what they click on.
The last thing we need to talk about is employee misconduct. Some employees, if given a foot, will take a mile. It is important to monitor your employee’s productivity well enough to ensure that they are doing their work, and that the work is in line with what you expect from that position. Some people won’t take to it as well as others, but by-in-large, workers that work remotely work with an ease that allows the work to be better and for productivity to not dip so much as it will cost your business.
Emerge knows it’s a difficult time for Greater Cincinnati businesses. We’re here to help. Call us today at 859-746-1030 to talk to one of our consultants about remote workforce management and security.