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4 tips to protect your employees when they work from home

4 tips to protect your employees when they work from home

Corona has changed our working lives, and working from home has become significantly more common since the pandemic hit the world. In this post, we've gathered 4 tips to help you protect your employees when they work from home. 

Post-corona, working from home is taking up significantly more space in Danish organizations. A survey conducted by YouGov for the IT supplier Atea shows that Danes are ready to work much more flexibly than before the corona pandemic hit. 

One in four of the 924 respondents could see themselves working for a company where they had never met - or would never meet - managers and colleagues in person. 72% of respondents believe they work at least as effectively from home as from the office, and overall attitudes towards digital initiatives have become more positive, which could have an impact on future meeting activity. 

Overall, 57 percent of respondents would like to work more at home than they did before the coronavirus hit.  

The coronavirus crisis has greatly emphasized the need for a flexible and hybrid working life, where the workplace can be tailored to the needs and wishes of individual employees. For organizations, this creates unique opportunities to reduce costs and streamline collaboration. 

However, a home workplace places very specific demands on the organization's digital collaboration options - and not least on IT security measures. When the work computer is set up at home, it can be difficult to maintain the same level of IT security at home as at work. Unfortunately, this makes the job easier for cybercriminals. 

However, there are some simple precautions you can take to ensure that your company's employees are in the best possible position to collaborate, work efficiently and avoid the traps of cybercriminals when logging in from home. 

We have compiled 4 tips for you here. 

Tip 1: Check if employees are missing any digital access to do their work from home

It is crucial for efficiency - in the office as well as at home - that employees have all the digital access they need to do their jobs. Having access to the right resources is one of the most important measures to support productivity. So: check if employees lack access to systems, applications and data that are important for their job function.

Tip 2: Check if employees only have the digital access they need to do their work from home

Employees should have the access they need to do their job. However, it is important that they do not have more than they need. During the lockdowns, when more people were working at home, it was natural for the company to prioritize initiatives and projects, and perhaps this resulted in some tasks being temporarily dropped. 

Therefore, it is important to consider whether it makes sense to temporarily shut down some digital access to systems, resources and data while the employee is working from home. This helps to protect the company and support its data security. 

Tip 3: Prepare employees for possible approaches by cybercriminals

Cybercriminals will take advantage of employees working at home. The authorities have continuously warned against this. In general, IT security is under pressure in many companies because working conditions have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. These working conditions give hackers easier access to the organization's systems and can make it more difficult to detect them once they have entered.

In general, the threat landscape did not change during the coronavirus pandemic, but cybercriminals were better placed to succeed in their hacking attempts. In the Cost of a Data Breach 2020 Report, 76 percent of respondents state that it will take longer to identify and contain a security breach or data leak when employees work at home. 70% of respondents also indicate that the costs associated with a data breach will increase. 

One thing that can leave your organization vulnerable to attack is if common security measures are not maintained or implemented as usual. This includes system and software updates not being implemented, VPN connections or multi-factor authentication being opted out because employees are working outside the office.  

It is extremely important to properly prepare employees to withstand any approaches from hackers. Constantly make employees aware of the increased threat landscape, inform them about typical ransomware and phishing strategies, and ask them to be critical of everything they receive. 

Tip 4: Use only secure technology to facilitate collaboration from the employee's home office

Whether working from the usual office or from a home office, it is essential that data is processed securely. Security policies still apply from home and information should only be exchanged on secure platforms. Therefore, companies need to provide the right technology to facilitate collaboration between employees, even if they are working separately. 

Telework creates new security challenges and there is a widespread tendency that employees do not always maintain good security behavior when working outside the fixed office environment. For example, they may use personal IT equipment to work from home, not use the services or facilities provided by the company, or transport sensitive business information around outside the office. 

The company should therefore revisit its safety policies and update its guidelines on a regular basis if homeworking is a widespread part of the working culture in the organization. This will help to ensure that the organization addresses the particular challenges and safety risks that may be associated with homeworking. It is also very much about awareness-raising. Employees need to be reminded on an ongoing basis that working from home requires adapted work routines and behavior. 

If you follow the advice above, you are well on your way to creating the best conditions for a productive, efficient and safe home working environment. 

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