The severity surrounding the pandemic is starting to wane, as most countries have now completely restarted their economies and welcomed international tourists after more than two years of strict lockouts and regulations. in quarantine.
Although the pandemic was a time of relentless frustration, in the workplace, the office dynamic has seen a marked change with the advent of remote work and work-from-home contingency.
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Now, after more than two years of working out of the office, companies are starting to change their tone, and it looks like here’s a distant job to stay.
Researchers from wealthy career portal, Ladders have found that more than 25% of professional jobs will be completely gone by the end of 2022. These estimates are only set to rise sharply in the coming year, as now realized of employees the benefits and flexibility that come from working from home.
While being out of the office means employees are more flexible with their schedule, it has also proven relatively beneficial for employers, as researchers at Stanford University found that employees working remotely are more productive than their office counterparts.
Companies and their employees now value certain aspects of their work, and personal lives more than they did before the pandemic, including the ability to go to team workcations.
And while the return-to-office date doesn’t seem to be on the table yet-for now at least-employers are now starting to raise concerns about employee safety and data protection while working online.
The pandemic may have given way to a new way of working and communicating, but it was also a time full of online security threats and cyber threats.
The lack of cybersecurity and unknown risks now pose a major threat to companies and their employees who work with multiple computer monitoring software, virtual workplace portals, public WiFi, and switching between many networks. There has also been an increase in how companies are able to manage the risks associated with activity tracking when it comes to their clients and how they are able to reduce unnecessary risks and errors.
Approximately two-thirds of IT professionals confirmed companies do not implement proper cybersecurity protocols, and employees should be concerned about the risk of malicious online activity on sensitive company and employee data. Furthermore, 54% of IT professionals in an Openvpn study found that remote workers have a higher risk of cyberthreat than traditional office workers.
Today the threat of online scams, ransomware, malware attacks, and phishing is more prevalent than ever. And as more employees move to remote work and the workplace becomes more digital, cyber threats will become a frequent disruption to the virtual office.
Employers, along with their remote workers, must now look towards improving their existing cyberinfrastructure, but also educate staff properly on security protocols. These and other practices, such as updating data and privacy policies, and better managing remote risks should now be the #1 priority for employers.
Here’s how employers can manage distant risks
Restore a Security Mindset
The pandemic has proven to be a stressful time for many people because factors such as family, security, health, and job security have contributed to increased stress and anxiety.
While working from home may also make things more difficult for some, in times like these employees tend to overlook the importance of online and remote security.
Prioritizing the security mindset that employers return means what some may consider obvious, but informs them about the importance of using proper anti-virus and online digital security software. .
How to prioritize the security mindset:
- Refresh employees with typical threats and malicious activity they may come across.
- Improve internal IT infrastructure and develop a strategy to help in case of a threat.
- Share informative information about cyber security and how to keep employees safe.
- Make sure employees use updated computer security software.
- Allow employees to share critical issues experienced throughout employment remotely.
- Give employees time to assess their online security and digital footprint.
- Create a foolproof guide on how employees can improve their online security.
Update Security and Remote Work Policies
Employers may have ignored, or perhaps completely missed updating online and digital policies during the rapid move to the remote office.
While some employers don’t quite think about updating their online security policies, others don’t even have one, initially.
Being negligent can mean that you as an employer are putting your staff, their personal information and data, and sensitive information about your business at risk.
Outdated policies are no longer a way of working online, and employers should look at what their protocols are in the event of a threat.
Employers who are unaware of the actions of their remote workers can open large cracks within the company’s security strategy. The best way to combat a possible threat is to make sure employers undergo proper cybersecurity training.
Research shows that approximately 25% of employees receive some type of cybersecurity training at least once per year, while 32% undergo training at least twice per year. Even more alarming is the fact that only 8% of remote workers currently undergo or attend a cybersecurity program during their onboarding process.
If the recent cyber attacks against national government institutions have taught us, it is human error that is still the biggest threat of a company when it comes to internal cyber security.
From clicking on suspicious links, or opening emails and anonymous documents, human mistakes play a large part in the safety of any company and its employers.
Device and System Security
At some point, employers should be open to looking at a system security protocol that suits their business and online security needs.
Some employers tend to wave this, thinking that a cybersecurity attack will never use their business or their staff as ransom. Well, according to VentureBeat, at least 85% of companies and organizations experience at least one ransomware attack each year.
A leaked file or privacy violation should be more than enough reason for an employer to consider developing and implementing a cybersecurity protocol that will help protect staff and sensitive company information.
Choose a software program based on your business needs, and even better, be sure to also consider your employees ’perspectives on software. This is a broad spectrum to cover, but it will at least ensure that every person on the team is protected wherever they work.
Remote work is probably one of the most important changes the worker has made in decades. But while this means that companies and their employees can now adopt a more digital and virtual work environment, it also makes it harder to secure data and information as employees are scattered across the country or world.
Make sure that as a business, you have a cyber security strategy in place, and that remote employment data and policies are updated to meet both the business requirements and those of your employers.
Although it is useful, the remote office can still pose a complex challenge, even as we are more accustomed to working from the comfort and safety of our homes.