First things first. The best and secure way and protocol are employees to work through a networked computer which allows the employee to connect to the company server, and interact with her teams’ network. However, as a result of COVID 19, homeworking became unexpected, and some employees are improvising through the use of social media, Facebook, zoom meetings, Instagram, etc.
So, what should businesses bear in mind? It may be too late to write up a water-tight home working policy but you can adopt a strategy to remind your employees of the risks inherent to working remotely, and touch on a few key practices:
⦁ On line meetings: create a guideline on topics appropriate for online meetings, the content of presentations, restriction on audiences, and how to restrict the sharing of sensitive information shared in any online platform. E.g. encourage introductions in a meeting, as there may be uninvited participants or recording of the meeting.
⦁ Refresher on Information and cybersecurity basics: Employees to think of adopting the use of non-disclosure agreements for sensitive conversations with vendors and third parties, and where the discussions change and move on to another platform.
⦁ Securely store sensitive files: Organisations need to store documentation appropriately. These include contracts, due diligence reports, and other critical information. Most importantly, the organisation should have an appropriate contingency plan, to ensure continued access to critical information, to maintain service continuity, and the resumption of business functions in the event of unexpected disruptions or restrictions in service.
⦁ Employees to dispose of sensitive data securely: For instance, the physical trip at work to the shredder has been taken away, unless of course, the employee adopts the same practice at home.
⦁ Following employer’s security practices on data: Do not share on social media, any sensitive data, or intellectual property, e.g. personal data, engineering data, financial information, technical know how’s chemical compositions, recipes, and manufacturing processes, customer/client lists and their information