Recent work-from-home (WFH) and social distancing orders in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic have posed unique challenges both for individuals and businesses. While corporations are faced with the dual tasks of maintaining operational workflow using a largely remote workforce, individuals are adapting to new time management strategies and cybersecurity risks.
As states consider how and when to fully reopen their economies, many businesses are seeing the value in home-based employees and are already planning to increase their reliance on remote workforces over the long term.
- Amazon has announced extension of its work from home (WFH) option until at least October 2
- Microsoft is allowing all but essential employees to work remotely through October
Salesforce has announced that it is giving its workers the option to WFH for the remainder of 2020
• Twitter is allowing WFH employees to work remotely on a permanent basis
• Facebook is allowing remote work and is incorporating adjusted salary schedules into its long-term strategy
So what does all this tell us? For one, it confirms what many have already suspected—that our level of technological connectivity has reached a level where broad-scale remote work is not only possible, but in many cases is preferable to maintaining a large in-house staff.
Early fears concerning reduced productivity possibly resulting from remote workers becoming distracted have failed to materialize, as early efficiency reports show no significant losses in efficiency, and in some cases have shown gains. All indications point to WFH as a go-to strategy for businesses that are looking not only to safeguard worker health, but also to decrease overhead, reduce travel expense, and boost efficiency.
The Front Line for WFH Employees: Cybersecurity
For WFH employees, the challenges are somewhat different. While many have mastered the art of balancing home, family, and work life, protecting sensitive business communications while working from home can be trickier.
Many remote workers are staying connected by using their personal laptops, tablets, and phones—and that’s great. But the risk for cybersecurity breaches increases when employees work on a patchwork of systems and without the proper cybersecurity protections.
For example, reports of phishing scams, looking to capitalize on pandemic anxiety have increased 600% during the past 3 months, suggesting that remote workers using unprotected machines remain a vulnerable target for scammers.
Fortunately there are solutions. Some businesses are providing remote workers with company devices to ensure all WFH employees have the same cybersecurity protections as their in-house counterparts. Individual workers are also taking the initiative by exploring new cybersecurity products.
How Can You Be Sure Your Machine or Network Is Secure?
One way to ensure cybersecurity is to have your personal devices and security software evaluated. Some businesses opt to have their security systems put to the test. Penetration testing is a method where trained technicians attempt to crack your cybersecurity protocols as a way of identifying and sealing potential vulnerabilities. When an unwanted entry point is identified, new code can be written to patch or close the loophole.
For individuals, having a cybersecurity expert examine your computer’s security protections now can save you money and hassle later on. An experienced consultant can identify vulnerabilities and outdated technologies, seal potential entry points, bolster your firewall, and help you choose the cybersecurity products that integrate best with your employer’s systems.
At Waterdog Computer Works, we’re experienced in helping clients make informed decisions about hardware, software, connectivity, and both personal and network cybersecurity. Want to know if your network or machine is secure? Contact us today!
Located in Wayne, Pa, Waterdog Computer Works is a complete IT solutions and cybersecurity provider serving businesses throughout Main Line Philadelphia. Focused and responsive, Waterdog Computer Works offers a two-hour emergency response time guarantee, no-risk contracts and a team of technicians with over 75 years of combined experience. Call us at 484.580.8568 to speak to a member of our team.