As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the globe this spring, businesses across the world rushed to implement a remote workforce. For many companies, this was the only means of keeping their company afloat amidst the chaos of the pandemic.
While most organizations were able to successfully transition employees to working remotely at home, cybersecurity best practices were often overlooked despite scams related to the virus being on the rise. Here are some methods for avoiding Coronavirus-related scams and threats.
Educate Your Employees
At ORAM Corporate Advisors, we are constantly pushing the need to provide ongoing cybersecurity training for every employee. This is more imperative than ever as your employees may be working outside the confines of your office, network, and security measures. Talk to your users and ask them how they are working with secure documents and where data is being saved (their hard drive, Google docs, etc.).
All data should be saved on encrypted servers. Train employees now about where they should be storing sensitive data so it is protected and properly backed up. Depending on how long you have your remote workforce in place, you may need to offer retraining on occasion for every employee (typically each quarter).
Schedule Time for Trash Talk
In addition to discussing where data should be stored, you need to train employees about how it should be properly disposed of. If you were to remote into your employees’ computers, would you find data in their Desktop folder, Downloads folder, or in their recycle bin? If so, that data isn’t secure or backed up.
Worse, if they have been deleting information through their recycle bin, that information is now permanently outside the security of your business environment. The only way to secure it now is to move it back from the recycle bin into their files and delete it from any backups.
Additionally, train users not to save business data on their desktop. While this might be easier to get to information quickly, it is also less secure. Instead, teach them how to create shortcuts to access data rather than moving files around. Teach them how to empty their Downloads folder as well as their recycle bin so company data isn’t lingering on their personal devices.
What a Picture is Worth
Some of your employees may feel compelled to take pictures of documents using their mobile device. This creates a security problem as you don’t want your sensitive or regulated documents ending up with their family photos. The loss or theft of such documents and the issues with regulatory fines could cost your company a pretty penny. Instead, identify a secure, compliant application or cloud service to help them properly handle sensitive documents.
A New “Normal”
While COVID-19 forced many people to work remotely or telecommute, the expectation is that many will continue doing so even after the coronavirus is no longer a threat. There was already a movement by many companies to allow employees to work from home at least part-time before this pandemic hit.
Many companies are now starting to see the advantages of a remote workforce such as lower energy costs and are rethinking the need of spending money on renting expensive office space. Once you have made the investment to secure your remote workforce, this could become your new normal. Now is the time to begin considering options for reducing your workforce, moving into a smaller office space, or closing your physical location altogether to save money.
For more information about current COVID-19 scams, remote workforce security threats, and how to apply cybersecurity best practices for your business, contact ORAM Corporate Advisors now at (617) 933-5060.