Uncertain times call for a review of existing procedure. As companies experience breaks in their supply chain, security breaches, and major overhauls to their normal processes, the question becomes what any one manager or business owner can do to safeguard their own organization. Right now, “safety” is an emphatically health-oriented term. But you can keep your company assets safe without compromising the health of your employees and partners.
Maintaining Quarantine Precautions
We’re not out of the woods yet. Certain locations are back in lockdown or just lifting restrictions right now. There is no doubt about it – the changes to our policies and business tools must be permanent and versatile. That’s the only way to ensure normal operations while everything else continues to be abnormal.
We recommend maintaining previous work schedules during quarantine in order to ensure your employees get enough rest and relaxation – no, unspent commute time is not a good excuse for tacking on hours and overworking your staff. The immune system can be compromised by a lack of sleep, so encourage everyone to get their eight hours. There is also nothing wrong with offering to lead remote workout sessions on lunch breaks. You don’t have to wrangle everyone’s webcam for this, just schedule a time and loop everyone who signs up into a conference call. You can send out a good yoga video for the team to use – the best thing about yoga right now is that it doesn’t require any extra equipment or space. Exercise doesn’t just boost the immune system, it also lifts spirits and bolsters mental health.
We are not a medical authority when it comes to best practices for combatting COVID-19, so we defer to the CDC and WHO regarding any regulations and recommendations. In addition, your local or federal authorities may have refined measures more appropriate for your location’s circumstances. More than protecting your assets, protecting your employees is a top priority. This is why we offer tips for continuing to follow guidelines while maintaining a secure remote infrastructure.
Securing Communications and File Collaboration
There are a variety of business file sharing tools companies are already leveraging to stay in touch with their customers, colleagues, and employees. While there’s no excuse for a good old fashioned phone call, it also behooves us to get as face-to-face with each other as we safely can. In some parts of the country, golf courses have reopened with social distance tee times, but that’s not quite what we mean. Videoconferencing software is bringing quarantined colleagues together the world over. While Hangouts and Facetime have personal video calls covered, most companies require a customized, professional platform such as GoToMeeting. If you haven’t already, consider purchasing a subscription to one of these types of services for your entire company. It can be an invaluable tool during and after quarantine.
Many secure chat and messaging apps have entered the marketplace which seek to secure communication within and outside of your organization. Gold standard security programs like Signal and globally ubiquitous services like WhatsApp are almost universally recognized for their encryption features and ease of use. Not every team needs the same solution, and some will go for the more popular Slack or more corporate Skype for Business. Whatever solution you choose, we recommend looking into its history of breaches and security reports. If you’re worried about the safety of your data, remember that you can always leverage third party options such as VPNs, which will enhance the security of your entire ecosystem.
Securing Access to Your Remote Workstations and Applications
You can set up a Virtual Private Network for your organization and establish secure access for machines your staff are using at home. This allows you to keep all files in a consolidated location and manage access on a per-computer basis. It’s a great baseline to set for company security practices, building from there with the right applications.
Password Managers can be the final word in security – literally. Establishing security practices like frequent password resets and password sharing limits can sometimes cause more harm than good. If your employees have to juggle more than a few sets of credentials, they will start taking shortcuts. A good password manager not only adds its own layers of security but also prevents human error from compromising your business.
Security for Company Files
This is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Trade secrets. Company data. User information. Customer profiles. Whether you’re a B2B, B2C, non-profit, or government office, private and sensitive data requires protection. This is why we install password managers, scour the marketplace for safe anti-virus software, drop a videoconferencing software after a data breach. Why not go right to the heart of the matter to ensure secure business files themselves?
With the right Secure File Management solution, your documents are safe from prying eyes inside and outside your organization. A security administrator can grant access permissions based on user group so that the average employee can’t simply lookup, for instance, a coworker’s HR records. Decide who gets to check files out and when documents get purged per industry regulations. And double layer encryption ensures hackers won’t be able to break in from any angle. A robust File Management solution will have options for a mix of on-premise and cloud-based hosting, keeping all of your files consolidated at the office or in another safe location. A feature like Content Sentinel can allow your staff to still share documents with colleagues outside of the organization in a secure way.
A good file management software like Contentverse doesn’t just give you certainty in uncertain times – it gives you peace of mind. Even after you’ve leveraged the best communication software, chat apps, and access measures, your setup isn’t complete until your files are secure.
A version of this article was published as How to Secure My Remote Business During Quarantine on May 29th, 2020.