The transition to remote work has been a rocky one for many companies to say the least. With some delaying the transition to the last minute, others acting more quickly, many businesses were at different stages of the process for quite some time. One of the most important aspects for any business transitioning to remote work is ensuring that all data remains safe and secure. While working off-site can open you up to different vulnerabilities, there are several steps that you can take to make sure that your sales teams are keeping their data as protected as possible while remote.
Monitor for Phishing and Scam Attempts
Phishing attempts have been an important topic for businesses for quite some time, and they are even more of a threat given the current environment. When teams are remote, there is often less communication in general, which hinders business efforts to stop the phishing attempts in the beginning, in addition to limiting the spread. There have been a large number of COVID-19 phishing attempts, which means companies need to be even more vigilant in times of higher stress and unusual circumstances such as these.
Ensure that you are cautious in the emails that you open, especially from unfamiliar sources. There are several key indicators that an email could be a phishing attempt:
- From an unknown address that you have not contacted before
- Often contains suspicious links in the body of the text
- The sender’s address is extremely similar to a familiar company or individual’s email but very slightly different
In the event of a phishing attempt, make sure to report it directly to your IT department and ensure that they have the most time possible to prevent any potential data breaches.
Keep All Customer Information in One Place
It’s important to make sure that all your client information is kept in one place, especially when working remotely. This is not only to reduce general data loss and increase efficiency but also to reduce the risk of data theft. The more places or applications you use to store your data, statistically, the greater chance that one of them suffers a data breach.
ForceManager offers a comprehensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to fit your business needs. Allowing you to keep all of your customers data in one place, ForceManager provides easy access from mobile devices, the ability to automate certain business processes, and more. Keeping all of the important data in a singular locations allows your sales teams to know exactly where everything is at all times. In addition, it also prevents data from being spread out across multiple locations, and falling victim to a data breach, which can have major repercussions across all facets of a business for years to come.
Have a Secure Connection
While working remotely, companies have less control over the networks that employees use. In a physical office environment, everyone uses the same network that the business has provided, meaning it’s safe and secure for all. While working from different locations, sales teams have more opportunities to connect to unsecured networks, which is one of the most common ways for data to be leaked or stolen.
Set some best practices for employees while they are working remotely, whether that be from their home or another location. Have a company policy of using a tool to secure your network, such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or an Identity and Access Management solution (IAM). VPNs are a great way to keep your traffic and data secure while on almost any network, and IAM solutions ensure that the data is controlled and interacted by exactly who it’s intended for, without falling into the wrong hands.
Have a Universal Method of Communication
Having, for the most part, a singular form or method of communication can solve many problems companies face, especially when it comes to data security. Once again, spreading yourself too thin over several different sites and ways of communication can open yourself up to cyberattacks.
In addition to having more security issues related to the different platforms, it also becomes easier for hackers to perform phishing attempts or gain access to private information and data due to potential confusion. When you have a lot of employees all communicating across multiple platforms with different uses, confusion is bound to happen. According to this Verizon study, over 1/5th of cybersecurity breaches occur due to human error, which goes to show, streamlining communication as much as possible can reduce crucial error.
Remote work has the potential to make companies aware of some of their weaknesses and allows for opportunity to help address them promptly. Educating employees on the dangers of phishing attempts, and showing them how to identify and combat them can help save your company from data loss or breaches. Keeping all customer information in once place can make sure everything is always easy to find, and prevent exposure to outside threats. Securing your connection prevents any sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands, and gives you peace of mind no matter where you are working from. Having a universal method of communication keeps things simple and easy to manage, and helps prevent any unnecessary employee error, which could have unforeseen consequences.