The shift to remote work has brought huge changes to widespread industries, and in many cases, it’s here to stay. It’s a move that’s brought new challenges, new gains, and new questions to both workers and businesses. Are employees more productive without having to worry about a commute? Should companies shift their office budgets from real estate to compensation for home offices?
One of the biggest tasks companies have to face is maintaining the integrity of their cybersecurity systems when their employees are working from ad-hoc office spaces and using home internet connections to connect to the workplace.
Data security is yet another challenge that companies face now that work-from-home has become the new reality. The data risks of remote work are new, complex, and need to be faced head-on. Remote work isn’t just temporary. Long before the sudden shift, the trend was quickly advancing. You need data security policies and procedures that work in the new normal.
Establish Robust Policies
Data security is everyone’s responsibility – so make sure they know it. Your company should have a robust training plan so that all employees, including those who work remotely, are handling sensitive data with an appropriate level of precaution.
Once you’ve identified the tools and procedures you need to keep your company data safe. From VPNs to firewalls, take the time to train employees on how to use them and make sure that they’re effective.
Destroy Data Regularly
In the chaos of the shift to remote work, a lot of things have fallen by the wayside. But now that offices are settling into the pattern, it’s time to get back on track with best practices, one of which is data destruction.
Whether you need to shred business documents or destroy hard drives, find commercial destruction services that make it easy for remote employees to dispose of materials (such as pick-up services). Make sure they provide a certificate of destruction and keep your data out of the wrong hands.
Crack Down on Unsecured WiFi
You’re working on a sensitive project, but it’s around 3 p.m. and you “hit the wall.” You pack up your laptop, head to your local Starbucks, and decide to finish your day with a pick-me-up. The only problem is, you’re using an unsecured wireless network, and that leaves all the data on your device vulnerable.
While encryption is increasingly used in web surfing, unsecured and public WiFi networks are still vulnerable to hacking.
Find a policy that balances data security with flexibility. There will be times when workers need to get out of their home offices, whether it’s due to family, noise, or other disruptions.
Strict Policies on Data and Paper Materials
Make sure you have strict policies on turning digital data physical. If it’s necessary to print out sensitive information, especially consumer data that’s protected and regulated, make sure you have a document shredding service that will safely destroy documents.
Data security is possible in the remote work world. Make sure employees know what the expectations are, how to dispose of both paper and electronics, and what devices they can use.
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