November 24, 2020 Last updated November 24th, 2020 375 Reads share

Security Concerns to Consider When You Let Employees Work from Home

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Remote working is getting more and more popular all over the world. And it’s not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As millennials take over the workforce, there’s a new way of doing things.

Today’s young adults value their comfort and peace of mind as they understand remote work helps improve their job performance. Also, they’re oriented towards spending time with the family and loved ones vs. spending time in the office.

In addition, modern technology supports the remote work trend. We now have affordable mobile devices, fast internet connections, and plenty of platforms to support video & audio communication regardless of distances.

So why are there still organizations that don’t support the transition?

As it turns out, every major improvement also comes with some downfalls. In this case, the major concern is represented by data security. As the world becomes more open to online communication and interactions, we also see an increase in cyberattacks aimed at both organizations and individuals.

However, hiding behind the office walls is not the right solution. Organizations and individuals need to pay more attention to their online cybersecurity, so we will highlight the major issues to consider when working with remote employees.

Communication Channels

Whether it’s a videoconference, a chat meeting, emails, or just sharing files, it’s crucial that everyone uses secure channels. This means sending and receiving encrypted files, using chat apps that encrypt the content, and maybe access to a VPN solution.

In addition, it helps to set up secure remote access to files by implementing a hybrid or full-on cloud system.

Access Rights & Training

If you ask any cybersecurity specialist, they will tell you that the weakest link of the system is the human factor.

Employees and/or managers are the ones who are most likely to click on an infected link or open a malicious email attachment. They are also the ones to fall for an advanced phishing scheme and offer their credentials to ill-intended actors.

In addition, remote workers are most likely to use personal devices to connect to the business network. Personal devices are almost never as secure as the ones set up by the company because people don’t perform regular software updates or use an advanced antivirus system. Even more, you can’t control the type of software that’s installed on an employee’s personal device, which opens the door to a series of problems.

Furthermore, many companies suffered because of poorly-managed access rights. For instance, people who leave the company should no longer have access to their old business accounts (email, cloud, clients database, and so on). However, if the system is not automated or well-maintained, mistakes can happen which may lead to data breach from a vindictive or careless former employee.

Another issue concerning access rights stands in using a common sharing space for every type of document. This way, it’s easy to mistakenly share a confidential document with everyone, which can result in a data leak.

To avoid any of the above-mentioned scenarios, a business must have a hierarchic access rights system and needs to provide cybersecurity training to each employee. It also helps to have a series of best practices and regulations concerning the usage of personal devices when working remotely.

Collaboration in a Remote Environment

Due to tools such as Slack, Monday.com, Toggle, and others, it’s easy to work remotely and still collaborate with everyone else. In addition, it’s easy to track your progress and show it to managers and colleagues.

However, the multitude of available tools can make things a bit more confusing than they need to be. For instance, some tools are designed for big teams while others work best with smaller groups of people.

It may take some trial and error, but it’s important to make sure (as a manager) you choose the right remote working software for your team. Since this is(are) the platform(s) they’ll use for work and discussions, it’s crucial that it provides all the necessary features and a safe work environment.

Keep the Workflow Running Smoothly

Miscommunication can happen even during face-to-face interactions, which is why many people find remote communication bland and difficult.

But it’s mostly a matter of adopting the communication style and making sure there is a clear flow from the top to bottom and vice-versa. As such, the team manager needs to establish the workflow for a remote team by deciding who is connected to who, the type of information they need to exchange, and the channels they need to use.

This way, every piece of the puzzle is connected to the core (the company, in this scenario), which ensures information will flow freely. Also, if something bad happens (one of the devices gets stolen, damaged, or infected), it’s only a matter of interrupting the flow before it reaches the main network.

Overall, while it takes a bit more effort, remote working comes with lots of benefits for all the parts involved. As long as the environment is safe from ill-intended actors.

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Ron Evan

Ron Evan

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