The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the daily habits of millions of people, and working routines are no exception.
With millions of people suddenly switching to working from home full time, we’re witnessing a seismic shift in how people work.
Companies have had to set up their employees to ensure their work continues uninterrupted.
However, this comes with new challenges: an increase in cybersecurity risks and ensuring mental wellness and motivation – especially for those doing lockdown alone.
Even under usual circumstances, getting cybersecurity right can be challenging for many businesses and their employees.
In the current work-from-home world, however, managing the myriad of cyber-risks can feel downright daunting as employees may momentarily drop their guard or download rogue tools which claim to make their home office more productive.
Consider these five tips from ESET to reduce your cybersecurity risk:
1. Beef up your logins
This is essential for everyone on the team – basic passwords like 1234 and ABCD will not secure your work.
Many sites recommend a combination of upper and lowercase letters along with a few numbers, and this is for good reason – these passwords are harder to guess.
If you’re not sure if you’re on the right track, reach out to your IT security team for guidance.
2. Implement full disc encryption
This will avoid data loss should a laptop be stolen or lost by restricting access to the data on the device.
ESET offers ESET Endpoint Encryption and ESET Secure Authentication to protect confidential work.
3. Use prescribed tools and devices
Accessing the company’s internal network from home should ideally only happen on a company-owned device that has been set up accordingly.
It is also worth using a VPN to ensure your connection is even more secure.
4. Keep company info on company devices
Think twice before using external storage devices.
Rather keep your information and files on company storage devices that have been secured appropriately.
5. Encourage self-auditing
Employees should audit their own IoT devices like smartphones and tablets.
Showing them how to do this as they work remotely will enable them to check that their devices are secure.
A cloud-based dashboard that provides oversight of different devices on a network will simplify the work being done by your IT security team while everyone works from home.
ESET’s easy to use Cloud Administrator product can support those wandering Windows and OSx/macOS laptops.
Also make sure any mobile devices have a mobile security app installed.
Another big challenge for businesses is to ensure their employees remain productive, motivated, and engaged.
Creating the right environment for those who may be first-time remote workers is extremely important for the employees’ welfare and company productivity.
Consider the following five tips:
1. Have a home office
Where possible, encourage people to stick to their work routine and create an ad-hoc office space.
Try to sit at a table or desk in a regular chair in one area of the house, and start and end work at a set time.
2. Have a single non-email communication platform
Agree on a single communication platform outside of your email system.
This platform will provide a more casual communication style.
Examples you could choose from include Slack, Zoom, and Skype.
3. Do a morning check-in
Start the day with a team check-in on one of the aforementioned platforms and take 15 minutes to communicate the day’s agenda with everyone.
This will ensure they have the necessary information and resources to achieve the expected results.
This also has the benefit of giving everyone an idea of when to start their day.
4. Keep the communication flowing
Watch out for your friends at work and reach out to them if you notice they are not participating.
Consider scheduling an online lunch to catch up and check in on everyone.
5. Don’t micromanage
Focus on the bigger picture of the end result, and avoid babysitting or being overbearing.
As employees adapt to the new working arrangement, productivity may suffer – but with the right leadership and guidance, the reality is that productivity will most likely increase due to fewer distractions.
With the right security measures in place, keeping a routine, and communicating with colleagues, working from home can be as productive and beneficial as being in an office.
This article was published in partnership with ESET.