For some, the return to the office is the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel that is the COVID-19 pandemic. For others, especially those in leadership positions, it’s a source of worry. Having a solid plan can alleviate these worries and ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
Remote Work Security Threats Won’t Suddenly Disappear
Remote workers have been exposed to an endless barrage of cyber threats for the last year or so, and they’re now about to bring their work and personal devices alike back to the office and connect them to the corporate network.
What’s more, most organizations won’t welcome all of their employees back to the worksite at once because they have to rethink density to prioritize physical distancing. Instead, they will likely choose a hybrid model, allowing some employees to continue working remotely for the foreseeable future.
Here are three useful tips to help you address these and other challenges to keep both remote and onsite employees safe, secure, and productive as the world gradually returns back to normal.
1. Be Ready to Quarantine Employees’ Devices
Soon after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, hospitals dedicated entire wards solely to COVID-19 patients to minimize the spread of the virus as much as possible. Now, organizations that are planning the return of some or all of their employees back to the office should do the same with employees’ electronic devices.
This approach, known as network segmentation, certainly isn’t new to cybersecurity professionals, who have been relying on it since the early days of computer networks to keep sensitive data and systems protected from malware moving across the network. In practice, network segmentation can simply mean a separate Wi-Fi network for newly returned employees to give the IT some time to verify the security of their devices.
2. Have the Necessary Policies in Place
Organizations should never expect their employees to understand what needs to be done to keep cyber threats at bay. Instead, they must have the necessary cybersecurity policies in place and take the time to educate their employees before, during, and after each major transition.
- To start with, require remote employees returning back to the office to change their passwords as a defense mechanism against phishing attacks.
- Their devices should be scanned for vulnerabilities and updated before being allowed to connect to the corporate network.
- Last but not least, it’s worth checking employees’ devices for unapproved software because employees who’ve been working from home may have installed unsafe or questionable applications in an attempt to improve their workflow.
3. Evaluate Your Infrastructure Needs
Let’s face it: the pandemic has radically disrupted the way work gets done and accelerated changes that had been in progress even before its outbreak. As such, things won’t go back to how they were, and that’s a good thing. Why? Because organizations with an agile workforce that takes advantage of modern cloud services are much better prepared to respond to changing market demands and unexpected events.
When evaluating your infrastructure needs to accommodate both remote and onsite employees, it’s important to ask employees themselves for their feedback. After all, they’re the ones who’ve been working from various remote locations, so they know better than anyone else what works and what doesn’t work in practice.
You can then partner with a reliable and experienced provider of managed IT services, such as Spectrum Technology Solutions, to implement the infrastructure changes capable of giving the winning edge over your competitors.