Managing Continued Work From Home After COVID-19 Quarantine Ends
Long after COVID 19 quarantine ends, many expect working from home will be the new norm. It is possible to make remote work secure and efficient for your team.
When the COVID-19 quarantine first hit, businesses didn’t have a lot of time to plan. But now is the time to learn lessons and apply them forward into a long-term, sustainable strategy for employees to securely work, not just from home, but from anywhere.
Here are a few must-haves for managing continued work from home for your business without increasing your IT issues or cyber security risks.
Gear Up for the Long, Secure, Haul
Employees accessing company tools and data from home doesn’t have to be a security risk. Using company equipment, which is serviced and maintained by your IT experts, can make a huge impact on your cyber security. Here is the short-list of what each employee should have:
- Company computer. Some roles, like graphic design, may need more specialized hardware. But for most roles, a basic laptop will do the trick.
- Encrypted WiFi. Using the home’s personal WiFi set up is fine as long as basic security protocols are in place, like WPA2 encryption and a strong password. Expect that your employees will need training or assistance in securing their router. Creating guides and checklists can help, but be prepared to support remote workers with one-on-one assistance as needed.
- Hardware firewalls. These work similar to software like Windows Firewall, but they are physical devices that sit outside the computer and allow granular control over the type of traffic and data that touches the computer.
- USB data blocker. Designed for travelers, these simple devices will come in handy for the new work-from-anywhere culture. USB ports on computers and mobile devices are designed to transfer both power and data. When you need to use a port in a public place to power up, the USB data blocker allows for only the power to transfer. Data transfer is blocked, thereby keeping viruses and malware out and company data secure during the power-up.
Document, Train, Communicate, Repeat
All the tech in the world can only take you so far — both for your cyber security and for the productivity and contentment of your team. The goal of any work from home or work from anywhere set-up should be seamless security. You want your team to be secure, without constantly being distracted by the things that make them secure.
Start with a comprehensive IT use policy that covers work from home and work from anywhere. Here’s an example to get started: IT Usage Policy Template. But don’t just hand out the policy and have employees sign their compliance. Train your team on the policy, so they not only understand what is expected, but why it is so important. Train the whole team once a new policy is implemented and then each new hire who comes on board.
Training is the first step, not the last. Make cyber security part of your culture by bringing it into your team discussions. What works? Where are people stumbling? What tools can be leveraged to help? Rework or rewrite unclear or outdated policies, retrain on practices that are falling off and keep the lines of communication open.
Ask for Help
This applies to both individual team members and the company as a whole. Security and technology change rapidly. Every team member should be encouraged to ask questions and request assistance. Company leaders should do the same. The SWAT Systems team is here to help.
Get a Complimentary Network Assessment
Our complete network audit looks for current and potential problems and provides you with an actionable plan for improvement. First, we do a complete review of your network stack, along with current tools, technology and hardware and other technology-related concerns. At no cost and no obligation, your company receives: