We can’t predict how bad the coronavirus (COVID-19) is going to get.
The medical professionals I’ve communicated with indicate that it’s going to depend on what happens in the next two to three weeks.
Right now, social distancing is a must.
For businesses, an easy way to accomplish this goal is by helping employees work from home. However, going remote can introduce cybersecurity risk while you’re lowering your company’s COVID-19 risk.
I want to keep things SIMPLE here. This is not the time to get into the technological weeds. Please take these two important actions.
1. Use remote control software. This is your best option.
There are three ways your employees can continue their work from home. But not every method defends your business from the bad guys. Here are the potential scenarios—from the most secure to the least secure:
- Your employees use technology to remotely control their work computers. This offers the most protection for your data. If you’re a Proactive IT client, we might set you up with remote control software, Microsoft’s remote desktop services, or a virtual private network (VPN).
- Your employees take their work devices home. This isn’t ideal as these devices are less protected at home than they are at your office. But for the short term, this could work well.
- Your employees use their personal computers. This option presents the most risk. Personal computers are not managed and controlled in the same way as your work computers. From a cybersecurity standpoint, this opens a can of worms.
Here’s my advice: Use a remote control technology.
If you are not set up for remote control yet, call us at 704-464-3075. And, in the meantime, direct employees to use their business devices as a stopgap until a remote solution can be implemented. And employees should NEVER work on personal computers unless they’re using remote control technology; it’s simply too risky.
2. Implement two-factor authentication. It’s a MUST.
If employees are using remote control technology, you MUST have two-factor authentication in place.
Otherwise, the bad guys can use a keylogger (or another method) to steal your employees’ usernames and passwords. And voila—hackers have an easy way to log into your business network during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Stay tuned. This is only a short-term fix.
If the Charlotte community and the entire U.S. can successfully control COVID-19, this short-term fix should work. You don’t need to invest a lot of money.
However, who knows where this is going. If the COVID-19 outbreak accelerates, the government is going to implement more draconian measures.
If more than a few weeks of social distancing are required, these tips may not comprise a long-term solution. Ultimately, you’ll need to make your employees’ home environments as secure as your office environment.
So stay tuned. If we reach that point, I will write another article with guidance.
If you need help responding to COVID-19, our number is 704-464-3075, and our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe out there,