The home office, once the domain of tenured college professors, has become a desirable option for many companies and employees. Since March of 2020, millions of people have been exposed to working from home. While the numbers have fluctuated, the experience has changed the job landscape for the foreseeable future.
Per a 2020 PEW Research Study, 54% of those polled stated they wanted to continue working from home after the pandemic ends, meaning the security ramifications of this switch are not likely to go away. Innocuous locations such as living room sofas and dining room tables are now handling sensitive customer and proprietary data daily outside of the controlled environment of a corporate office.
With this in mind, there are steps that you can take to protect your company’s data:
Too many well-meaning individuals keep a word document or electronic sticky note on their computer desktop listing every password they have. Create a policy requiring employees store passwords non-electronically in a secure location, or using a password manager. The seconds of delay it takes to retrieve the securely stored passwords are well worth it to avoid the hassle and headache that comes from handling a massive data breach after one enterprising criminal finds a convenient collection of digital keys.
Protect The Work Space
It is not only employee sign-in information that can endanger company data in remote work settings. The physical and digital space that the employee works in needs to be protected as well. Help employees to secure household Wi-Fi routers and update passwords to make Wi-Fi harder for people not part of the household to access.
Implement physical safety measures as well! If it is feasible, have home work stations be in a separate area of the house that can be closed off when not occupied. Encourage employees to lock smaller work devices or material away when not in use. Not all threats to company data are malicious — an overeager pet, curious child, or spilled grocery bag on the kitchen table can accidentally damage equipment and documents. Using the Clean Desk policy even in a remote work environment can help keep data secure and safe from these innocent mishaps.
Related – How To Implement A Work-From-Home Policy
Remote Locking and Wiping
Install a remote locking and wiping program on all devices that handle company information. Remote control over devices that handle company data provides an additional layer of security when devices are not in an environment with limited access, like a key-card entry office.
Remote locking allows administrators to force users to re-enter credentials to access the machine that has been locked. A Remote Wipe removes company material from the device to prevent it from being improperly accessed or ending up in the hands of malicious actor. DriveStrike offers both Locking and Wiping capabilities that can help companies keep their data secure on hundreds of devices located across the world.
Separating Work and Play
Whenever possible, encourage a separation of “work” and “leisure” devices. Shopping, socializing, and streaming on the same devices that contain company data increases the surface that hackers and malicious actors have to gain access to passwords, data, and documents.
Employees also are more likely to allow others access to devices in a recreational setting, providing opportunities for unauthorized access to information on accident or on purpose. By separating “the work computer” from “the family computer” and using a Work Profile or an entirely different work phone, employees and companies mitigate this risk.
The jury is still out as to when, if ever, companies will transition back to a centralized structure. Remote work offers companies flexibility that a traditional workplace cannot match, but it is important that the company has practical policies and flexible digital security solutions to protect data, customers, and employees.
DriveStrike provides Remote Wipe, Remote Lock, as well as additional capabilities to add layers of security to a work-from-home office setting. Start a free trial to begin protecting your devices and data today, and feel free to contact us with any questions. Your security is our priority.
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Each day brings new data security challenges, so your organization needs simple and wide-reaching solutions to combat those challenges. DriveStrike is here to help you protect your most critical data with premium quality endpoint security. Start a free trial with DriveStrike today, and contact us if you need any assistance. Our team is always ready to answer your questions.