According to a BitSight report, "Identifying Unique Risks of Work From Home Remote Office Networks," the article revealed that “45% of companies had malware on their corporate-associated home networks.” This could mean major cybersecurity and telecommuting complications for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) if they are not prepared.
A New Way Forward
Where SMBs ordinarily could disregard cybersecurity and remote workspaces, that thought is a thing of the past. Now once traditional office settings are adopting work from home policies, businesses require the right communication and productivity tools needed to get the job done from anywhere, without slowing down production.
“To sum it all up, vulnerability at the home-office is now corporate vulnerability,” - Chad Tester, COO, Dominion Voice and Data
What is the new normal?
“Unfortunately, whenever we get back to normal life, it won’t be so normal, anymore,” stated Chad Tester, COO of Dominion Voice and Data, citing the expected office policies which will force people to adhere to staggered schedules, where a worker comes into the office on Mondays/Wednesdays and another comes on Tuesdays/Thursdays. The expected growth of remote working, even after the states reopen will still be enormous.
Work-from-home is fast becoming the “new normal” and with tech giants like Twitter, Microsoft, Google and Facebook all extending work-from-home policies, many SMBs are trying to figure out the best way to reorganize themselves for success. Twitter and Square have announced their plans to let employees work remotely in perpetuity.
Google and Facebook have remote policies in place at least until 2021. Since these tech giants often serve as a leading indicator for SMBs across the country, business owners are looking for innovative, yet practical, ways to adapt to this new working environment and to ensure that their virtual infrastructure is secure.
Biggest cybersecurity challenges for business owners
The two biggest challenges for business owners who find themselves in this new work-from-home scenario are 1) How do I properly manage my employees? and 2) Which technology do we really need?
The past several months have been a crash course in management, forcing business owners to innovate management solutions for employees, which leaves the second challenge up for resolution.
For any business owner who wants to address this vulnerability, at a minimum, they must equip their employees with a combination of the following technologies, Windows virtual desktops, SD-WAN, firewall and a printer/scanner. Virtual desktops provide employees with access to apps, software and technology that they utilize on their work computer.
SD-WAN establishes a secure and efficient means of connectivity for employees and a monitoring solution ensures the ongoing security of any devices or networks from cyberattacks, like phishing or ransomware. Lastly, printer/scanner solutions are absolute necessities for specific employees.
With a relatively simple bundle of technology, SMBs can circumvent many of the cybersecurity challenges imposed on them through this pandemic, and they can set their company up for success as we transition into the “new normal.” While remote working has been steadily growing for years, there is now plenty of data, and common sense, to back these necessary shifts.
According to Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics, “Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.”
That number is up from 3.6% of employees working from home half-time or more. Remote working is here to stay, and keeping your data secure and streamlining your business technology operations is an absolute must.