Many businesses are going with the option of having employees work remotely over the next few weeks. Social distancing is a crucial part of mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. However, having your employees work remotely can pose some serious cybersecurity risks and precautions must be taken. Bad actors are on the lookout for targets made vulnerable by the switch to Work from Home (WFH). Here are some best practices to implement while your workforce waits for the all-clear to return to the office. We also offer some tips to help with the transition and to keep your sanity.
Your Work Device
If your employees are working from home, they should be doing so from a company-approved device. Work laptops are ideal for this kind of situation. If that is not possible and they must use a personal device, that device must be properly secured. This could involve the installation of apps or software that bring the device up to the cybersecurity standards of your technology team. If you do need to connect a personal device to your network, there are options available to better protect your network. We recommend discussing your options with your technology team to determine the best way to securely connect to your network.
Bad actors have been ramping up their efforts to exploit vulnerable businesses. Remote workers can be particularly vulnerable as panic mode sets in and emails are being rapidly sent back and forth. There is a heightened chance of someone falling prey to a phishing attack and having their credentials stolen. If that happens, you’ll want to make sure to have multifactor authentication set up. With MFA, even if a hacker successfully steals an employee’s credentials, they won’t be able to do anything with them. By requiring a second mode of verification, like a code sent to a specific device, you will be able to protect your business-critical data even in the event of an employee being compromised.
Limit Access to Secure Data
Many programs allow you to assign different roles to your employees, which allow them specific and limited levels of access to company programs. If your workforce is going remote, it might be wise to consider limiting access to critical systems. Because there is a heightened risk of employees being hacked, it is important to limit what any one individual can access. If an employee does not need access to a critical system to perform their duties, consider blocking their ability to access that system for as long as your workforce is WFH.
Other Items of Note
- Stay active and take breaks. It’s easy to forget to move.
- Stay on a schedule for eating, exercising and sleeping.
- Avoid raiding the snack drawer by not keeping snacks in the house.
- Schedule meetings to “humanize communication.”
- Go through your morning hygiene routine and get dressed in work appropriate attire.
- Don’t work from your couch as this could be bad for your posture and can lead to bad habits.
- Communicate more often with your team than you think you need to.
- Have a dedicated workspace that is quiet and free of distractions.
- Go outside and take a walk. It’s important to schedule some breaks to move around and get some fresh air occasionally.