With the average cost of a data breach now reaching nearly $4 million, there are few business models on the planet ready to absorb such a disruption. If you’re not ready to implement virtual office workplace safety measures, you risk taking on a major loss that follows a major data breach.
If you want to keep your staff, your data, and your clients secure, you need to implement safety at your virtual office.
Here are for steps you need to take ASAP.
In This Post:
1. Secure Any Physical Locations
Every virtual office has servers that live somewhere. Depending on the kind of virtual office that you’re running, you could be running your company from your basement or from a small downtown office space. Even if you have your data stored on a remote server, you need to make sure that the location is secure.
If you have an office space, make sure you’ve got adequate security on site. There should be 24/7 locks that are only accessible by staff on an as-needed basis. If you’ve got data secured at your own personal office, you need to start securing your space to ensure no unauthorized people get onto your server.
When your virtual office workers are working online from local cafes and libraries, they need to avoid using unsecured or public Wi-Fi. Being on a public network leaves your data vulnerable to be stolen. Even at your own home, if you allow open access to your Wi-Fi network, someone can install listener malware to collect your information and hack you.
If you can’t keep your staff off of public Wi-Fi, then you need to teach them on the practices of using a VPN. VPN protects data by adding a layer of security between the sender and receiver. Even with a VPN, virtual employees should avoid sensitive documents or accessing email while in public.
You never know who could get access. You could even be dealing with problems from within your organization.
2. Practice Good Password Management
While most people think they’re being clever when they create a password about an obscure baseball player they’ve loved since childhood, they usually get hacked. Pretty much any standard name or word in any combination is accessible to even the most rudimentary of hackers.
Teach your staff about good password management tactics. Give them a few lessons on what it takes to create a good password using some real-world examples to get them to think outside the box. Remind them that they need to have a unique password for every one of their accounts and that repeating passwords only sets them up for trouble in the long run.
Set up a system that erases passwords every few months and forces employees to change them. The more you can force your employees to remember to change their passwords, the more often you can ensure that they improve their passwords. By putting a roadblock in their way, you’ll find that they’re more likely to practice better management at home and at work.
3. Set Device Requirements
If you’re managing a virtual office, you can set the standards for how your employees interact with your software. While device requirements can seem draconian, when you set up standards for the kind of systems that your staff needs to use, you have more control. The more limits that you set, the more you determine the outcome.
Device requirements allow you to streamline your workflow. The limits that you set allow you to know which tools everyone is using so that if there are any snags, you know how to get out of them. It’s challenging to make sure that your staff can troubleshoot any problems that occur when in the middle of a project.
When everyone is using the exact same system, you can work on getting over the hump together.
It also ensures that you limit your costs when it comes to licenses. Every piece of software that you require your employees to use is going to cost you money per device, per operating system. When you have everyone on the same system, you limit your costs and you can predict costs into the future.
4. Update Early and Often
Software updates are a vital part of keeping your company secure. However, most of your employees are going to see updates as irritating obstacles that get in the way of their productivity. It’s important for you to teach your employees about their importance.
While you might not see the need for so many security updates that you find in a lot of updates, you should be thankful that you don’t know what they’re for. Security experts at tech and software companies make the big bucks because they’re online looking out for the latest major bug to hit users. They’re there to get in the way of bugs and viruses before they hit you and your staff, taking down your whole system and leaking customer data.
Your staff needs to appreciate the security updates that software developers release and update their systems as often as updates are released. While it can be irritating and conflict with their workflow, ultimately it’s not as bad of an obstacle as being hacked. If you want to really disrupt your workflow, imagine that your whole database went down for a week.
Let your staff know in advance of updates that you anticipate so that they can be prepared too. If you’re worried about whether or not your virtual workplace is going to work for you, click here to learn more.
Office Workplace Safety Isn’t Just Physical
Your staff and your clients are going to include lots of personal information on your system. Every compromised system leads to potentially compromised personal and financial losses. If you have no office workplace safety polices, you could risk losing customers and the faith of future clientele.
If you want to start rewarding the employees who keep your business secure without spending money on bonuses, check out our guide.