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How Prepared is Your Organization to Work from Home?

Posted April 01th, 2020 in Security, tips, work remote

We all seem to be working from home during this pandemic. Is your organization prepared? Keep reading to see.

prepared to work from home

 

The pandemic is growing which is causing more organizations to close public operations and avoid large groups. Employees are needing to do remote work immediately. This means that your organization needs to take a proactive and flexible approach. More businesses are choosing to work from home; and we want to make sure that your organization is prepared for this change and that you are secure.

 

First Step:

Who can work remotely? Who can't work remotely? Who should work on-site (if possible)?

It would seem that those with an office job can work from home, but this might not always be the case. Maybe compliance requirements are preventing this or there are security requirements that won't let certain jobs work in unsecured areas.

Also, employees who deal with customers directly (ex, restaurant workers, service workers) can't work from home.

In addition, there are some jobs where working from home is problematic (ex, production supervisors, factories) where they need to access the facilities.

Second Step:

For those who can work remotely, you should now survey their ability to work from home.

Which employees have a computer they can use at home? Do they have adequate internet access? Is their location secure for the work they do? Does each employee have voice phone access?

Be prepared for surprises, even if you have a business continuity plan. Some issues could be people being on-time, multi-tasking, productivity issues, and having to order equipment for employees.

 

 

Adding Capabilities

When you try your business continuity plan, you're very likely to find out that some things don't work as you thought they would. For example, inadequate internet access, computers not meeting the requirements for the software used, and even an inadequate workspace.

This is the company's responsibility to ensure that all employees can work effectively from home. This might include purchasing new computers, paying for improved internet access, adding a voice phone for employees that use the phone, ensuring that there is the proper number of VPN licenses (might not be needed if cloud applications are used).

 

Help Your Staff Adapt

This time is a cultural shift - people aren't used to working from home.

Many people could find this more of an issue with virtual meetings (ex, Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangouts). Employees need to make sure that their cameras are turned on because their body language helps meetings run better. There needs to be a set-in stone agenda for online meeting and someone need to take notes to share with everyone after.

Virtual meetings work well if you've taken the time to train employees on how to use the software.

 

What your organization might find, is that with working from home, once it is figured out and tailored to your company, can lead to increased productivity. Managers will need to learn to trust staff to do their jobs without constantly watching.

You have to trust your staff because working from home is becoming the new normal during this pandemic.

 

How secure is your organization for employees working from home?

Here are a few tips to look into.

  1. Provide employees with basic security knowledge
  2. Provide employees with VPN access
  3. Make sure all security protection is up-to-date
  4. Do a password audit
  5. Make sure all software is up-to-date
  6. Encourage the use of cloud services (that are secure and approved)
  7. Reset default router passwords
  8. Schedule mandatory backups
  9. Avoid using USB sticks
  10. Use a MDM/EMM solution
  11. Develop contingency plans
  12. Foster a community and care for employees

 

We have come to the end of this post.

Please keep safe, healthy, and strong during these hard times.

 

If you have any comments, use the section below.

 

Looking to make sure that you stay safe from cyber-attacks. Check out our security awareness kit below.

Security Awareness Kit

 

Sources:

Evans, Johnny. (2020). 12 security tips for the 'work from home' enterprise. Retrieved March 31, 2020 from https://www.computerworld.com/article/3532352/12-security-tips-for-the-work-from-home-enterprise.html

Rash, Wayne. (2020). How To Prepare For The Coronavirus Work From Home Requirement. Retrieved March 31, 2020 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/waynerash/2020/03/13/how-to-prepare-for-the-coronavirus-work-from-home-requirement/#204f64215cbf