The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the working landscape for thousands of businesses and millions of employees. While many are beginning to adapt to create new workflows that allow for productive remote working this is still a huge learning curve. One of the key steps to ensuring a business can continue to function during the current conditions is making sure that data security is being maintained. Working from home conditions may require a shift in perspective to ensure that this happens.
A new approach to confidentiality
Create new policies for handling sensitive and confidential data for those who are working from home. It’s essential that all staff know that the same standards still apply when it comes to protecting and processing data. Because people tend to feel more secure when they are at home, confidential materials may just be left sitting around. They could end up in household rubbish, in the background of an image posted to social media or simply be lost. In order to ensure that data standards are maintained, especially when it comes to physical documents, it’s important to put protection measures in place. Shredding remains a high priority – if staff don’t have home shredders or you’re not confident of the effectiveness of home tech then providing lockable bins that can be collected by a professional shredding service at a later date is an obvious solution.
The importance of authentication
We have all seen in the news issues that have arisen over security with platforms like Zoom. It’s crucial to ensure that wherever your business is providing access, whether that’s to your network, data, video conferencing or the cloud that you’re using high-quality authentication standards. Make sure that employees have the latest versions of software downloaded onto the device that they’re using and that any antivirus protections are also up to date. It is often worth ensuring that your staff have access to and can use a business-grade VPN. All of these measures may be essential to stop unwanted access to your systems, disruption to workflows and to prevent the loss or theft of key data.
Awareness is key
Although the current crisis has been about surviving and trying to ensure continuity for many, for others it has been an opportunity. In one week in March 3,600 domains were registered to contain the word “coronavirus.” While many may be legitimate others contain malware and viruses that are ready to exploit the fears and needs that lots of us have at this time. With your staff working at home they are much more likely to be susceptible to the efforts of scammers. It’s important to keep everyone informed about the latest scams and tell them what to look out for. Encourage staff to send emails they are not sure about to IT and to avoid clicking on websites or links that seem suspicious.
Maintaining data security during COVID-19 for those working from home requires a different approach. A combination of awareness, authentication and secure document destruction can help to keep your business safe.