An end to enforced work-from-home restrictions may be near, but that doesn’t mean everyone will be heading back to the office. The pre-COVID workplace is now extinct and most businesses will need to support a hybrid approach, with some people returning to the office, others working entirely remote and still others doing a mix of both. With continued remote work, cyber security needs change.
So what will cyber security look like for this new hybrid workplace? Here are 9 must-have ingredients:
- Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs create secure and encrypted connections. They give people logging into your network remotely the same level of security protections they would have in the office.
- Company Computers. Each employee should be using a company computer no matter where it is located. That way, the computer (endpoint) can be maintained by a robust IT and cyber security framework and people’s personal internet activities can’t compromise your business network.
- Encrypted WiFi. Whether in the office or remote, WiFi networks should have an encryption protocol such as WPA2 along with a strong password. Employees might need some assistance or training for this.
- Hardware Firewalls. Similar to the more familiar software firewalls like Windows Defender, hardware firewalls are physical devices that attach to computers and control the traffic and data that touch the computer. You will likely have a hardware firewall in the workplace. Consider these as well for long-term remote locations, such as an employee’s permanent home workplace.
- IT Use Policy. The “rules” for using technology should cover remote work as well as in-house. It includes how to protect company data, use computers and devices securely and notify the right people of potential security issues. It should also clearly state the consequences for not following the policy.
- Cyber Security Training. The best thing you can do to keep your business data safe is to train your employees. This includes understanding your IT use policy, but also how to spot phishing attempts, password safety and more. Some of the most expensive and damaging losses to businesses can’t be prevented by technology because they happen by tricking your employees.
- Good Video Conferencing Equipment. If you are trying to hold meetings with some people in the office and others remote, you can’t skimp on the tech. Or you can, but it will drive you and everyone else crazy. The good news is that exceptional video conferencing systems are now reasonably priced and well worth the investment.
- Physical Security Equipment. As you are investing in cyber security, don’t neglect the physical security of your team and equipment. Is the office left empty more than usual? Time to invest in video surveillance. Do employees travel a lot? Invest in USB blockers, laptop locks and other components that offer protection in public spaces.
- Stay Adaptable. The one thing COVID taught all of us is how to adapt and keep our businesses running amid various changes in environment and circumstance. Don’t try to force yourself back into the old way of doing things. Staying adaptable will serve your company and employees in the long run. And keep the lines of communication open with your team. Ask them what is working and what is not, so that training and policies can be improved over time.
Now for the best news… you don’t have to do this alone. As a managed service provider (MSP), Internos Group can help you with all of the above ingredients for remote work cyber security, plus any other technology challenges specific to your business or industry. And we’ll continue to stay adaptable (and responsive) to stay at your side through whatever future changes may come. Let’s start preparing now. Contact us or book a meeting to start the conversation.