Never before has there been a sudden rush to pick up and move from the office to isolation - but the risks of rushed work from home solutions are real - and you need to pay heed. A little planning can go a long way to reducing cyber threats during this sudden switch to working from home. Hackers always work from home or isolation so they are not in a panic to get their teams adapted to COVID work conditions. But when your team picks up and moves away from the security of your local area network in the office, or to working in the cloud from personal devices at home - your vulnerability skyrockets.
Safe Remote Work Solutions
You need safe and secure Work From Home (WFH) solutions for your team. We have been setting up and supporting remote remote work solutions for years. This is not new to us. In this post, we share some helpful things for you to consider as you juggle everything COVID is throwing at you and need to make some smart decisions about how to navigate all of this.
As a trusted IT Support Services company in Toronto since 2003, we can list and detail multiple methods for setting up work from home solutions that vary greatly in security ( from none, to some, to buttoned up tightly). In this post, we'll stick to the two most common that you have probably heard of and are considering now.
The major difference boils down to security.
BYOD For Employees Working Remotely
BYOD is Bring Your Own Device and refers to remote work setup whereby employees use their own devices to connect to company data. They may use free or cheap remote work services or tools to connect to their computer at work, or they may directly access business email and documents from their personal devices.
BYOD employee owned computers are not managed, secured or controlled by the company.
There is no endpoint security in place.
The device connects to the unknown and often insecure home network of the employee, and possibly other public, insecure WiFi hot spots at local coffee shops etc.
Often companies who use BYOD do so without any IT security frameworks such as Zero Trust Security or any sort of Identity Access Management in place. This means there is no control over which users, accounts or devices can connect to company data, no insight into devices connecting, and a higher percentage of data leakage and account hacks.
CYOD For Remote Work
CYOD is Choose Your Own Device and refers to remote work solutions whereby the employer provides a secured and managed device to the employee for work from home/remote purposes, and that device and accounts on it are authorized against the IT Security frameworks and policies in place that control access to company data and company accounts, thereby greatly reducing risk of data leakage, breaches and hacks.
You can read about why CYOD is safer than BYOD here.
Other Considerations For Setting Up Remote Employees
Aside from devices and email, there are other considerations such as printing, phone calls, and organizational communication.
Do you want your employees printing hard copies of sensitive or client information at home? What if those sheets are lost?
Do you want employees calling clients from personal cellphones? What if the employee leaves the company and the client is calling them on their mobile?
How will you keep in touch with your remote team, hold remote team meetings, manage organizational information to keep everyone abreast of company and client updates? Your IT support company can help you choose and setup tools for organizational communication such as team chat, team meetings and team intranet.
This guide can help your employees in setting up a home office.
Your IT provider can help you establish acceptable use policies for your team, as well as cloud print enablement or disablement.
For phone calls and communication, your IT company can help you setup online call and video conferencing tools that are attached to authorized user accounts only, so your team is working within your cyber security parameters. Or, opt for a VoIP phone system with soft phones installed directly on to your company owned and managed devices, or with apps on your employee’s cellphones. Both options ensure calls are being placed to and from your company phone number.
If you need to stick with BYOD for now, do everything you can to make it more secure than just granting free access to company data from employee's personal devices.
Of course, it is always recommended to proceed with best IT Security practices, including robust CYOD solutions to enable your remote employees to work with ease and security every day.
CYOD is part of a bigger cyber security strategy, and cyber security must be adopted by every business today. That means this rush for fast remote work solutions is actually an opportunity to re-assess your security, work flows, and processes.
After all, it may be a year or two before a vaccine is available, and you don't want to leave yourself open to greater risk for that long. And since top IT analysts across the globe recommend reviewing your cyber security in depth, at lease once per year, now is the time to dive deep and improve everything instead of just reacting to this one thing.
For cyber security services and outsourced IT services to help you do remote work right, TUCU is happy to help. We are small business IT experts in Toronto, serving teams across the province. Reach out to discuss your IT needs.