How your Naples business can manage the spike in COVID-19 related scams and identity theft
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of American working life, amid the tragic losses of health and life that have persisted and remain a threat. As unconscionable as it sounds, the coronavirus has also empowered identity and data thieves to find new ways to take advantage of Naples business’s gaps in security by targeting employees who work from home.
Sensitive data is even more sensitive when it’s distributed outside of a business’s central data storage systems. When it’s present on an employee’s home computer, it represents a better opportunity for criminals to access the data in a less secure environment. But there are certain steps and advisements your business can take with WFH employees to ensure their secure access and data protection on remote equipment.
Most companies have either switched to a full work-from-home model or allowed their employees to work remotely until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. While these measures are beneficial to overall health concerns, they do put more responsibility for data security on the employees themselves. Many may be completely unaware of your business’s data destruction policy because it’s something they rarely must deal with on their own.
In these cases, it’s important to make WFH employees fully aware of your company’s shredding and data removal policies, and possibly establish a new set of procedures to ensure their continued compliance. One suggestion is to set a policy dictating that they reserve outdated data and store it on external devices or hard drives, and to set up a schedule for the employee to drive the data to the shredding facility (or arrange for in-home pickup by your trusted shredding company).
In normal work environments, everyday employees have the advantage of an on-site IT technician to take care of their digital equipment and take care of warning them against intrusive outsider practices like malware and viruses. But when they’re working from home, those warnings may not come to their attention very much, if at all.
Make sure your WFH staff understands the consequences of leaving themselves digitally vulnerable to outside attacks — inform them how to recognize an intrusion attempt through email or over their smartphones. Keep your IT experts easily contactable as much as you can.
Many private companies employ the use of virtual private networks (VPN) while their employees are working from home. These networks are set up for safer accessing and delivery of company information, with a higher set of encryption standards than are available from home Wi-Fi systems.
But before your employees use a VPN, make sure it’s as compliant and safe as possible. Cyber actors can still find ways to take advantage of a VPN’s vulnerability if your business isn’t careful enough. Put your IT department on the case to make your private network hard to access for phishing, malware, and identity theft.
ShredQuick performs full data destruction for hundreds of Naples companies, and we also have ideas on how to keep your company’s data secure during the COVID-19 crisis. Contact us to learn more.
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