The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 60% of employees to begin working from home. While the pandemic is far from over, many Americans have adopted health and safety protocols into their daily life, resulting in many businesses re-opening and employees returning to an office environment.
However, the technology in the physical workplace much like our everyday interactions with other people, must adapt to fit this “new normal” in which we find ourselves. Secure technology is not only crucial to managing new safety protocols in the workplace, but for ensuring there are no cyber threats on the devices in the workspace. Several months working at home can feel like years, but it only takes a matter of hours for a cybercriminal to find vulnerabilities in your office media.
Cyber Concerns When Returning to the Office
IT departments are concerned about being overloaded with security concerns as employees return to their office environments. Many of these people have been using their own devices while working from home or may have used company devices.
Unfortunately, many admit to not following all security protocols and a company is at high risk for a data breach if any employee connected to an unsafe network at home. When these devices re-enter the office space, it can put the company at risk as these unsecured devices connect to a corporate network. This issue has already taken root as schools reopen their doors to students.
A laptop in the home environment means that a user may log into personal accounts or use extra-curricular apps and sites on the device, especially if it is not corporate-owned. This opens up more security concerns as credentials may have been compromised for work logins as work and personal accounts are opened on the same media. Using these credentials in the office opens your system up to hacking if they are already compromised.
Overall, the biggest challenge will be breaking employees of their work from home habits. Many may walk away from their computer without logging off or locking their device. In a corporate environment, walking away from a desk without protecting the data on the computer is a security incident waiting to happen.
Tech Upgrades in the Name of Health
With the cybersecurity concerns also come concerns about the health of employees who are returning to work in the midst of a pandemic. Some of the top concerns of HR leaders according to a survey from Appian found that the top priorities among workers are limiting capacity to maintain social distancing, sanitizing the workplace daily, and conducting health screenings. While these are important steps to take when interacting face-to-face with co-workers again, technology should be another concern. However, 97% of survey respondents said they do not need to invest in technology systems for a safe return to the workplace.
Some companies have implemented software to monitor safety measures and progress such as:
This type of software and data collection must have proper protection when used on a regular basis. Investing in technology systems not only ensures a safe workplace but safeguards this personal data, in some cases including employee health information. This puts office tech systems even more at risk by storing protected health information on company servers. Hackers may be targeting corporate infrastructure even more so now that health information is stored there.
Securing Data Both Health and Corporate
While HR leaders may not view technology as a priority while creating a safe plan for returning to work, it is something that could be deadly to your business if ignored. Employees who return to the office will have little purpose if the company was hit by ransomware or a compromised password led to a data breach.
The hardware encrypted SecureDrive products protect your corporate and personal data from unauthorized parties with secure authentication methods through PIN or mobile app, military-grade encryption, and built-in antivirus protection. The drives are also HIPAA and GDPR compliant to adhere to all security protocols.
If you do experience a data breach, ransomware, or other cybercrime, our Secure Forensics team can find the source of the attack, end it, and determine what information was compromised. Call 1-800-388-1266 to learn more about our data security products and services.