Four steps to follow when your teams start working from home

During the past few weeks managers have had to make multiple quick decisions about if and how their employees will continue to work during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The decisions made now will have a lasting impact on the business, so it’s important to take a long-term view to secure the future.

Following the steps below will help to ensure that your business survives during the short term scenario we are currently in, as well as thriving in the long term.

Remember the key issues around data security

When employees are working from home they are accessing data from a new location, which would traditionally put that data at greater risk. If a breach occurs, it can be hard for the employee and the organisation to know about it straight away, and it will be even harder to identify how it happened.

Organisations should address vulnerabilities to their networks and the physical storage of data.  Although it’s hard to stop personal data being mislaid, there are ways to mitigate the damage once the data is breached. Setting strict access rights means that, should a criminal gain access to the employee’s laptop or other work device, they would only be able to view a portion of the company’s personal data.

When using new online platforms, check the terms and conditions

There are many free-to-download platforms out there that not secure and could put you in breach of your legal obligations when it comes to data protection. This applies especially to tools which are used to store or share content or which enable teams to communicate.

Employees will often download any type of platform that they think will make their lives easier, often with no malicious intent. Give your team strict guidelines on the types of platforms they are allowed to download, or limit these types of downloads to an IT staff member with admin rights. In addition, take into account the types of platforms your team are asking for and look for a secure alternative.

Remember your long-term business goals

During a period of frantic change, it can be tempting to completely change the business strategy in order to get some quick short-term wins. It’s important not to take any actions now that could damage the value of your product or business long-term. All businesses are adjusting to change at the moment and this can take time. Focus on the business plan and aim to come out the other side stronger and ready to take on new challenges.

Most cyber security breaches are still down to human error

Depending on how ready your business was for remote working, it’s likely that many people will find themselves working from home for the first time. The stress of the situation, combined with increased isolation (meaning that people may be less able to ask colleagues for a second opinion) increases the risks that people will fall foul of cyber security scams, such as phishing exercises. Ensuring employees know to ask if in doubt is really important but consider also refreshing cyber security training.

TiG Data Intelligence have a long and successful history of getting businesses set up with everything they need for secure home working. Take a look at our productivity and modern working page for more information.

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