Data Security, Password Protection and Cloud-First Environments
By now, it is quite likely that a large portion of your workforce are working remotely and have been doing so for a few weeks. All of the initial bugs and kinks have been worked out and they are starting to settle into their new WFH work routine. The initial panic to get everyone up and running has subsided, and now is the perfect time circle back around and do an audit to make sure that your organisation is meeting or exceeding all of the best practices for remote working.
Having a remote team that accesses your data and assets from home connections and/or personal devices can give rise to several important security issues. Previously, working from home might have been seen as something of a privilege, not a priority. It might have been set up for 20-30 people in the executive team who were operating on company provided devices. Now, you’ve had to scale up quickly, allowing 200+ staff access to your internal servers from remote connections.
It is important to make sure that those staff have access to resources such as anti-virus software, password protection tools like LastPass and an IT team who can help them manage their security. Ideally, your company or organisation will be in a position to provide all of your staff with company issued devices that have a software like Office 365 which can be managed remotely, taking the responsibility of data security largely out of their hands.
But if this is not the case and you have staff who are currently operating from home using personal devices, then this is an important conversation that you need to have with them. You will need to find a balance between security and privacy – some will happily consent to having a third-party security software installed on their devices that allows the IT team monitor remotely, but others will see this as an invasion of privacy.
Furthermore, as each team member’s home setup will likely be different, you might need to look at each case individually, and work your way through each team member one at a time to ensure that they are meeting your data security requirements.
We touched on this a little bit above, but protecting your passwords is just as important as making sure that your team have a secure connection to access your data. You don’t know who else is using your staff’s devices – they might be operating off the family computer and have children who will unknowingly click into work folders or apps.
LastPass is a great option here, it allows you to manage who has access to which passwords, and if a certain password is compromised, you can change it for everyone in one go. It also enables multi-factor authentication and limits the ability to save passwords in the browser.
The biggest area that we are seeing clients struggle with at the moment are those who are still using legacy applications. Legacy applications are sitting on internal servers in an office somewhere and are not accessible via cloud technology. While your staff might be using cloud technology to access their emails or software solutions like Office 365 to create new documents and collaborate, the company database or CRM is still sitting on a physical server in your office, requiring staff to be setup with a VPN and a secure connection to access it.
These legacy systems need to be upgraded; they need to be migrated to cloud technology so that your entire work environment is cloud-first. This is no small undertaking, and is a significant project that will take some time to roll out, however it is clear that remote working is the direction that the world is heading in. We predict that even once the threat of Covid-19 has passed and the social distancing rules have been relaxed, there will still be a shift towards remote working, especially for companies and organisations who are able to see a significant reduction in overhead costs by allowing their teams to operate remotely.
We’re Here to Help
The team at humanIT can help your organisation migrate to a cloud-first environment. We can also assist in auditing your staff’s personal home set-ups and ensuring that they are accessing your data from a secure connection and device. If you’d like more information about how your business or organisation can support your team to work remotely, get in touch with us today.