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What If Your WFH Employees Never Come Back to the Office?

Is your cyber security prepared for the long-term impact and risk related to your WFH employees? If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the entire world can shut down, industry can turn on its ear and yet most businesses can still figure out a way to machete their way forward. It is really pretty remarkable when you think about it. For years, the business sector took only baby steps toward greater variety in employment options and, as the saying goes, better “work-life balance.” While the COVID pandemic can is certainly no blessing in disguise, it has indeed thrust to the forefront the real viability of long-term remote work options on a very-very grand scale. But, as with all innovation, there are both benefits and challenges involved. From an industry perspective, the thought of shifting a large portion of the workforce to a Work from Home (WFH) dynamic certainly does have its benefits. Experts speculate SMBs and corporations can save billions of dollars each year by incorporating long-term WFH options, due to decrease expenses in office space, maintenance and other substantial recurring costs associated with housing onsite employees or running a brick and mortar businesses.

NEGATIVE IMPACT But there is always the other side of even the shiniest coin. While many industries might welcome some moderate to substantial gains in this new employment world order, it will likely come at the expense of city and state tax revenues. Think about what this employee decentralization could do to Silicon Valley and other industry hubs. It sounds like New York City might already be experiencing an exodus. It is important to have a grasp of these business trends and shifts in economies on a wide scale. But SMBs and enterprises have a more pressing concern surrounding this new WFH employment paradigm. It is time to face the very real possibility that your employees might not ever come back to the office. And you might not even want them there! Either way, it is essential that the technology you depend on also ensures the health and safety of your business.

CYBERSECURITY A few months ago, most businesses were thrust into this new reality. They quickly learned that managing a remote team poses more challenges than simply making sure WFH employees are actually performing their jobs. With a lack of the cyber security fortress their once-centralized operations enjoyed, many scrambled to scale or create new, replicable safeguards surrounding WFH technology requirements and best practices. But stop-gap measures, temporary workarounds, duct tape and bailing wire may not equate to a sustainable and effective cyber security strategy for a geographically diffused team. So is it time to reevaluate your cyber security, assess what you already have and determine what you will ultimately need for the long-term health of your business in this new worker paradigm?

SAFETY & COMPLIANCE The following are questions worth considering regarding under the WFH employment paradigm: Is it time to accelerate the move to the cloud? Has your company considered migrating to Office 365, Azure, Google or AWS? What about other SaaS applications? Now is a good time to accelerate those plans. Cloud-based platforms almost universally offer stronger security than on-premise solutions. Especially when paired with other enabling technologies. Do you have Single Sign-On (SSO), Two-Factor Authentication and Identity Management solutions in place? Identity is now critical to anything and everything. Allowing users to log in just once across multiple applications - and trusting that the person is who they say they are - are more important than ever. Have you updated your Cyber Security Awareness Training to address unique WFH and COVID risks? Your entire organization needs education and training on threat prevention and risks associated with working remotely and under the pandemic. Is your Cyber Security Strategy a sustainable one? What worked in a pinch may not be good enough for the long haul. Are you settling for what should have been merely a temporary strategy? Nobody needs scare tactics these days; it is more than evident life can get frightening and dangerous quickly. It is with this knowledge that you are best equipped to secure the business you have worked so hard to build - regardless of whether your WFH employees ever make it back to your brick and mortar office. Is it time to revisit your cyber security road map? Stig Ravdal is the President & CEO of Ravdal, Inc. He leverages his vast industry knowledge and cyber security expertise to safeguard businesses and their data from unforeseen threats. Click here to schedule a call.


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