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As a business owner, you know and understand that every business deals with tech in one way or another. Many businesses are now reliant on digital technologies just to complete many tasks. This makes it extremely important to consider the importance of data security. Currently, the majority of workers are working from home remotely, meaning that data security is more of a necessity than ever before.
Making sure you have a clear and consistent policy in place is going to ensure that your cybersecurity is ready for the evolving challenge of protecting your business in the digital space. You are probably already using some encryption but you need to look at all areas of your business.
Now that the majority of employees are required to work from home for the foreseeable future, there are bound to be some compliance issues that you need to address.
Some of the areas you need to look at include:
Employees Using Their Own Devices
This poses a huge risk to the protection of proprietary, confidential information, and in-depth company details. It has been unavoidable in many cases because there hasn’t been time or resources to provide every single member of your staff with business devices to use. This means that there is a need for policies to be reviewed and revised to make sure they are compliant.
Failing to put proper policies in place could result in employers having very little control of information that is on that device. This can become even more problematic if the employees resign or are fired.
Monitor Data Usage
If you weren’t doing so already, it might be a good idea to manage and monitor data transfers to minimize the risks of theft. An example of this would be an employer allowing an employee to use their own phone for both work emails and calls. To implement this, you can utilize applications that you can control and allow the email functionality to be disabled if the employee leaves the company.
Have A Security Policy In Place Or Revise The Old One
If you want to avoid any unnecessary disputes and the costs that come with them, it makes sense to have a thorough data security policy in place for employees. Not having an extensive policy just invites disputes and disagreements over what information/data is what and it makes it very difficult to control and retrieve. This makes it far too easy for data to get misused, lost or wasted. If you already have a policy in place that was used for within an office or warehouse, etc it’s a good idea to revise this and adapt it to suit a remote worker. Remote work data security is of the utmost importance and shouldn’t be avoided or neglected during this time.
Recommended Read: Why Your Business Needs a Data Security Policy
Creating a Revised Remote Work Data Security Policy
Identify Specific Risks
Your policy should always start with you completing a full audit of your business, but chances are you already have one in place and just need to revise it for remote work.
Have a look at new vulnerabilities and identify which ones could be the biggest issues for your business. Now think about how you can protect yourself from those vulnerabilities. Think about things like how easy it is for someone to steal employee passwords, how you are going to send confidential documents back and forth, etc.
Verify Your Legal Requirements
These may not have changed but it better to be safe than sorry and look into any changes to the legal responsibilities related to how you handle the kind of data you use remotely.
Provide Updated Training To Your Staff
Your policy is only as effective as the people who are enforcing it. You should make sure your team is involved in the formulation of the policy. Direct managers, supervisors, and employees are the people who are going to be able to bring their perspective to help you to identify all the potential issues.
With remote workers, you can’t monitor or observe activity as effectively as if you were in an office so it’s a good idea to reach out to your staff.
You also need to make sure you train your staff on any changes that have been made. Whether it’s a conference call, an email, or a short security training course that you have created, make sure you update your staff on the changes for data security for remote work. You should also make sure that every single member of staff reads and signs a document stating that they understand the changes made.
Not everyone needs access to everything and putting certain restrictions on what certain employees can see and download. When you do a security audit, think about the levels of access you want to give different individuals in your company. For example, the new intern likely won’t need the same permissions as a head project manager.
Retrain if Necessary
You never expect or want to think that your employees may breach the new data security remote work policy, however, it is still important for business owners to know what to do if they are violated. Make sure there is an appropriate system in place for retraining employees if you see activity that is not compliant.
Review And Monitor
Just as you would for a standard data security policy, you also need to make sure you review and monitor your new one for remote work. Your policy may change as time goes on, especially since many people are working from home remotely for the first time. If you want to protect yourself from security threats, activity needs to be monitored consistently and be quickly adapted if needed.
Your data protection for remote work is essential for your business’s overall protection, so make sure you have one in place that now includes essential information for remote work.
At TED Systems, we pride ourselves on providing businesses with the information they need to protect their employees, assets, office space, and more. We specialize in the installation and integration of security systems for commercial businesses. Click below to learn more about us!