Why Your Organization Needs a Remote Policy

Chances are your business has many employees working from home. They may be doing so without a remote work policy in place to protect your information and avoid a data breach. As more companies allow remote work, protecting the data your employees could be sharing with the world should be your number one priority. A remote work policy protects both company data and your employees, and as more and more work environments evolve, it is essential to have this policy in place.

Woman working from home on a computer with two monitors.

Remote Employees are a Significant Security Risk

When employees are in the office, employers have better control over cyber security. Whether it’s a protected network, a firewall, or simply just the atmosphere of the office with the presence of a secure container for confidential information and a file cabinet that is locked, a physical office environment has proven to be more secure than remote workspaces. When employees are working from home, the atmosphere is different. Working from a home office on an unsecured network in the same place where they scroll through personal social media can leave employees open to human error. No one wants to think their employees are careless, but they can be without realizing it. At home, employees who are used to being in an office environment and are now working from home are distracted by kids and pets. They are more prone to click a suspicious link, throw confidential information in the recycling bin, or forget about office protocol. Because many companies didn’t have employees working from home prior to the pandemic, they did not have remote work policies in place, so both employers and employees are working without a plan to address security. This sets your company up for a significant security breach.

Employee Training and a Remote Work Policy

The first thing your company can do is create a remote work policy, which should be an organization-wide document that provides a complete outline of your security policies. Employees need to be trained in how to identify risks and avoid phishing scams. Many adults are suspicious of clicking links in their personal text messages or emails, but if the email comes through their company, they assume it must be safe. Training employees to understand cyber security best practices and providing them with a clear remote work policy is the best thing your company can do to avoid a data breach.

A Remote Work Policy Outlines Best Practices

A remote work policy doesn’t need to imply that you don’t trust your employees and feel that they need to be supervised in their own homes. Rather, a remote work policy can simply outline cyber security best practices. Some of the best practices include:

Secure Your Network Connection

Public wi-fi should be avoided. These connections are not secure. If possible, employees should protect their home wi-fi as well. This will ensure that you know which devices are connected to your wi-fi at all times.

Have a Dedicated Device for Work

If you provide your employees with devices intended for work, they should be used for work only. It’s very tempting for many employees to use one device for everything, but it does present a heightened risk. It is also important that the only person using the work devices is the employee.

Encrypt Sensitive Data on Email

Sending sensitive data through email is always a risk. If you encrypt the data, it can help protect anyone but the intended recipient from viewing that data.

Having a remote work policy for your company is a smart way to protect both your company’s data and your employees. When you have laid out your expectations, provided training in cyber security best practices, and informed your organization of the policy, a data breach is much less likely to occur, even if your employees are working from home. If you’re unsure how protected you are, we can help. Contact AccuShred to learn more about how we can guide your organization through an assessment of your current safety measures, identify vulnerabilities, and provide suggestions for implementing a best practice policy for your business.