By: Brian Egenrieder, CRO, SyncDog
COVID-19 is top of mind for everyone around the world, from both a personal and professional perspective. People are canceling travel plans, avoiding public spaces and requesting to work from home. As the outbreak spreads, businesses need to be prepared to react to public health officials’ recommendations, including having employees avoid the office and complete their work at home. The following tips are ways in which business leaders can help facilitate a smooth transition to having their teams work remotely.
Execute Your Business Continuity Plan
Throwing the switch and having everyone on your whole team work remotely might not be feasible if that is not something your company is accustomed to. Conduct a remote work ‘trial’ for three days with just a portion of the team to help prepare the rest of the organization for the transition, once challenges are identified on a smaller scale. Offer a designated team within the IT department to advise employees on proper configuration and setup for home networks.
Provide Employees with Security Guidelines
Rather than simply stating in an email, “Everyone will be working from home,” offer support by providing an outline of enhanced precautions for the cybersecurity of company data. CISA has provided guidelines for communication outside of the typical office environment, which one can use as an example of best practices.
Make sure that employees are instructed to strengthen the password of their home wireless router, connected devices, and the like. Advise against making all passwords the same, each one should be unique.
Communicating with colleagues on a home network means employees’ are likely not using the inherent security of an office network. They should be encouraged to withstand the urge to share sensitive data on messaging or voice applications that are not encrypted. It cannot be expected that a mobile OS will protect data; Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, Unix, etc. are all susceptible to nefarious code execution.
Beware of Phishing
Scammers are taking full advantage of COVID-19 to spread malware. They are not naive to the fact that many organizations are switching to a work from home model at this time. Educate employees about the signs of phishing emails, including those that appear to be coming from a member of the HR team and leadership. A click on a malicious link could turn disastrous for company data.
Take Precautions When Traveling
Life goes on, and many employees will opt to keep their personal and professional travel plans. Require them to bring their company-issued devices and chargers regardless of whether they are traveling domestically or internationally. You never know where or when someone might be stranded or quarantined, and how susceptible they will be when it happens.
Be sure not to rely on device management solutions to protect your data from the threats mentioned above. Most are designed to easily circumvent the common solutions most companies have in place. Full encryption of your data, while it’s on the phone and also while it’s being transmitted to and from the devices, is critical. Many of the security-related concerns that have arisen from COVID-19 fears, that are fueling an uptick in remote work, can be addressed by SyncDog’s mobile security solution — compatible with Android, iOS, Mac and PC. Easily deployable on-prem, via the cloud or a hybrid of both, Secure.Systems is the definition of modern device management as it puts user experience first without sacrificing security and data trust. Learn more here and request a demo.