Corona Virus and Remote Work: Check Your Systems Now
If are considering remote working arrangements for all or part of your employee pool due to Covid-19, now is the time to make sure your remote systems are secure. Adding remote capabilities requires extending your network’s connectivity, potentially adding multiple new devices to your network, and considering workflow and security measures when workers are not under your roof. All of these measures add vulnerability to any system. In order to protect your own company data as well as private information of individuals, it is helpful to have a plan in place earlier rather than later.
When working with an outside IT contractor on new remote capabilities, consider the following, among other issues:
- How are individual devices, and the data on them, protected?
- Are you issuing devices, or allowing employees to use their personal devices? If the latter, do you have a workplace policy in place covering your right to the information on those personal devices?
- How is the network secured?
- What is the back-up plan if the network or a device fails or is compromised?
- Do you need a data processing agreement with your contractor regarding consumer or employee data?
- Do you need to tweak your employee policies to cover confidentiality, privacy, or security matters when employees are not on premise – e.g., do they need to be reminded to lock their home computers or secure hard-copy files?
- Do you permit employees to connect from public WiFi? If not, do they need instructions on where and how to connect?
As shown by the mounting cancellations in the travel industry and the gyrations of the stock market, the impact of corona for business as a whole is highly uncertain. Thinking ahead about how to handle employee quarantines or a decision to cut back on in-person work will require attention and diligence in connection with your company’s efforts to keep private and business confidential information secured.