The global crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has meant that millions of people around the globe are working from home. The tech giants such as Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon have already asked their workforce to log in remotely from home. While many organizations already have their remote working policies and infrastructure in place, others are preparing for this paradigm shift.
Remote working presents a new set of challenges for data security, as home environments do not have the same safety standards as your office. While at the office an employee has to work behind multiple layers of security, which prevent most data theft and security threats. However, when the employees log into organization infrastructure remotely, the organization is under high risk of data breaches and security threats. If the COVID-19 situation has forced your organization to extend work from home to employees, then you must be wondering about:
During this blog, we will dwell on all these aspects, so that you can ensure the safety of employees as well as mitigate security risks for your business data.
Major Risks of Remote working
Before taking a deep dive into the solutions, let us first go through some common risks of allowing your employees to work from home.
Organizations need to mitigate the above-mentioned risks to facilitate a secured work from home environment. Now, let us take a look at some of the ways to mitigate risks.
How to Mitigate the Security Risks of Remote working?
Step 1: Create a well thought out Work from home Policy – It is essential to have a well-defined “Remote” or “Work from home” policy that contains a set of procedures that every employee must follow when working from home. This overall policy should be supplemented by additional information on data protection policies outlining the roles and responsibilities of employees when it comes to the remote working program. Additionally, the IT department needs to make special provisions to ensure a secured remote workspace for employees involved in highly sensitive projects. The security policy might contain additional clauses for such project teams.
Some procedures you might want to include in the policy are:
Step 2: Have the Right Tools in Place – Having a well-defined policy will make the roles and responsibilities of employees clear, but providing them with the right tools is also essential to reduce the security risks of working from home. Tools need to be selected depending on your organization and the role of employees.
However, some of the commonly used tools to facilitate secure remote working includes:
Step 3: Train and Educate your Employees on Security Best Practices – Establishing remote working policies and providing your employees with the right tools goes a long way in ensuring safety. However, your employees still have to be educated and trained in the best practices. In normal circumstances, this would mean conducting a Security Awareness Training for all employees. But during these unprecedented times of crisis that is not an option for organizations.
To overcome such a challenge, the IT department can leverage Microsoft Teams to organize virtual training sessions. Teams offers all the capabilities needed to host a training session. IT team could utilize internal communication applications to offer tips and advice on security best practices of remote working, cyber laws and compliance issues. Furthermore, Microsoft Teams also enables organizations to provide their employees with a common channel for chats, meetings, and calls. It can help your employees to connect through video and audio calls, communicate with Chats and strategize with meetings.
Remote working is the only option in the present situation, but it has certain security risks. So, it is important to lay a solid foundation to ensure that your organization and its data is safe. This foundation would include the remote working policy, tools for the purpose and virtual training to ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities. If you need assistance in creating a cybersecure infrastructure, click here.