On March 10th, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic with over 125,815 infected in 122 countries. This is becoming more and more relevant to your business as more people are exposed to and diagnosed with the coronavirus, then subsequently quarantined to ensure the virus stops spreading. What does it look like if a member of your team or your entire team is quarantined? Is there a work-from-home plan in place that employees are aware of? Will you still be able to work? Will that work be secure?
If your business doesn’t have policies in place now, it’s time to build them. Big corporations like Facebook and Microsoft have already begun closing entire office locations in certain areas to prevent the spread of the virus. It’s easier for these companies because they’re already in the technology space; there are already considerations in place for working remotely in an effective and secure way. However, smaller organizations that don’t incorporate remote work now can face a serious security risk trying to have all employees working from home.
When it comes to working from home, your employees may open your business to potential risks on their personal devices unknowingly. What devices are risks?
- Home PCs: Most likely, your employees will be doing most of their work on a home PC while they are quarantined. However, home devices are more likely to already be infected with malware, viruses, key loggers, or trojans that could have access to your sensitive corporate data while working from home.
- Wireless Networks: Your employees are at risk for opening your wireless networks to security threats as they access and share files across networks. This can create security holes for attackers and expose sensitive corporate data.
- Cellphones: Cellphones are the gateway to your employees’ most sensitive data and personal details. If employees are working remotely and using their cellphones as a tool to do so, it can create the same risks to your company as a home PC.
Those are startling facts when you consider how dependent your company may become on technology if quarantining employees becomes a necessity. However, there are things your business can do to plan and mitigate potential security risks.
- Evaluate the conditions that your employees will be working in. Make sure that their home devices are subject to your organization’s pre-existing cyber protection standards. Use security software and enforce rules about access to protect secure data.
- Log all remote access points, to make sure that your employees are the only ones accessing secure networks and data. Provide ways to reach content to continue working without putting the entire system in jeopardy.
- Educate your employees about being safe while working remotely. This will be the time when your systems are most vulnerable and they need to take active precautions to make sure they don’t create security holes.
- Have a disaster recovery program in place. Determine what types of data need to be backed up, how often, and what privacy levels are associated with your data to make sure that it will all be recoverable.
Are you worried about security gaps in your company in preparation for employees working at home this year? Don’t hesitate to contact Newave Solutions at (918) 289-2093 for more information.