As your employees settle into their work-from-home routine, you run the risk of them getting too cozy with your devices and security. This article will help to provide you with some tips to strengthen your remote work program.
Remote work has become very popular, and many organizations and businesses have shifted to allow their employees to work remote, at least some of the time. For businesses there are many advantages to this, including, potential decrease in physical location costs, happier employees, potentially more flexible business hours and many more. When employees work from home it can be easy to get distracted and this is what working with your employees to create a figurative wall between remote working home offices and their home lives. Encouraging your employees to securing their work devices and maintaining that discipline is essential to maintaining this wall.
As your employees settle into their work-from-home routine, you run the risk of them getting too cozy with your devices. Be it from a few personal Google searches, or from a quick online order, they can easily fall into bad habits. They may even expose your company to risk by trying to troubleshoot a problem from home, leaving an opening for malware and data theft.
One way to combat these hazards is to list and lock your work tools. This is an easy way to create a basic layer of protection for your data as well as reinforcing the wall of separation.
Here are three things you can do to keep your business safe with a remote workforce.
Your first step is to create a list of your work tools. These can fall into categories including:
- Devices: Laptops, storage devices, or any other hardware your employees use to complete your tasks
- Software: The company-approved software on your employee devices
- Notes: Any physical notes your employees take during their workday
Make an account of everything you give your employees to do their work and categorize it appropriately. If additions need to be made to the list, create a procedure so that employees know to speak with their supervisor or your IT team. This will give your workplace a clearer picture of what devices and will be used to access its data. It will also prevent employees from hastily downloading unapproved software that can threaten your company’s security. By having the list, it provides your employees with clearer ideas of what the expectations are and also how to handle asking for additional items.
Devices and files that contain sensitive information should be locked away at the end of your workday. When in the office, your employees might practice this habit would be practicing this habit but when at home, that perception of this needing to be a security habit, could be seen as relaxed. A locking drawer or computer/document bag can deter curious people, or others getting into things, and using your work devices that perhaps shouldn’t be. It’s important to consistently have your employees pack away their materials when not in use. .
It’s important to remember that a lock will not deter more malicious actors but should deter most others. Having employees keep their materials in a more secure area of their home would be best practice. A dedicated home office or a private, personal area within their home are ideal.
The locking principle extends to your company devices as well. Ensure your employees screens are locked when they are away from their devices and that their accounts are password protected.
By implementing these two steps and habits with your remote workforce will help to strengthen your IT security. Once you and your employees have your routine established, stick to it. Cybersecurity relies on diligence, good habits and the ability and desire to stick with it.