Work from Home Security: 3 Ways to Improve Your Company's Remote Data Security

Work from Home Security: 3 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Remote Data Security

Cybersecurity has rightfully been an area of concern for many business owners, especially regarding network safety and work from home security. According to a study by IBM, human error is the leading cause of 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches. And with Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, estimating that 70 percent of our workforce will shift to telework by 2025, this leads to even greater concern for employers following suit.

So, what can companies do to protect their business against cyberattacks, even with a remote workforce? In this blog, we’ll cover just how you can move forward to secure your company and ensure your work from home security is up to par to battle against an array of cyberthreats.

The Concerns Surrounding Remote Data Security

Remote workforces create a lack of visibility, control and awareness for employers regarding the daily digital practice of their workforce. This leaves not only the employees open to potentially malicious activity, but the employer and their clients as well. And hackers are fully aware of this! More and more, we see businesses falling prey to a number of business privacy and data breaches, including:

  • Malware
  • Phishing Scams
  • Password Attacks
  • Session Hijacking
  • Business Email Compromise (BEC)
  • Ransomware
  • And More

Every cyberthreat has the potential to cause long-term damage to your reputation and profitability. So, with risk looming around every digital corner, what can businesses do to halt hackers in their tracks?

#1 – Educate Your Team

The adage, knowledge is power, is a cliché for a reason. Educating your remote workforce on what role they play in protecting the company as a whole is vital to ensure costly mistakes are avoided. Train your team regarding what recent cyberthreats are floating around and clearly define protocols they should implement should data breaches occur.

An additional measure you can take is to provide employees with password policies that require strong, unique passwords and mandatory updates. This ensures that business privacy is never sacrificed over a simple mistake.

Another valuable policy to implement and share with your employees is a data loss prevention (DLP) plan. DLP strategies aid employees in spotting potential risks, active threats and ensures vital information is consistently backed up should the need to retrieve said information ever arise. These easy steps could save your business’s reputation, companywide data, client information and profitability down the road.

#2 – Equip Your Team

Even though providing your team with equipment may seem costly, breaches into your company’s data can be catastrophic. When introducing personal devices to your network, you create easier access points for hackers to retrieve your data. One fix to this is to implement virtual private networks (VPN) and network security measures. These act as gateways to extend private networks across public ones and secure access from any device to your network. As a bonus, you can also better isolate data breaches from your private network.

Having cloud security is another way to ensure data being transferred between remote employees stays protected against cyberthreats. In general, a great rule of thumb to improve work from home security is to implement tools and software that can be regularly updated internally across any number of remote devices. Cloud-based software provides access to those who need it, and security against those who don’t.

#3 – Expand Your Team

Because cybersecurity technology is always evolving to stay ahead of sophisticated cyberthreats, technology updates and clever hackers, it’s best practice to hire an individual or team of IT experts to assess internal and external threats, conduct and evaluate cybersecurity reports, update security hardware and software and ensure downtime remains minimal. However, IT support and cybersecurity roles are notoriously difficult to fill and oftentimes, the hiring process can drag out while you hunt for qualified candidates.

By hiring an external IT support team to manage your services, you’ll get all the benefits of a full-stack team of IT experts at a fraction of the cost of an internal hire. We provide benefits like ongoing support, IT consulting for in-office and work from home security tools and data loss prevention techniques. To learn more about how our expertise can benefit your business, contact us today!

4 Ways to Improve Team Collaboration Across Your Remote Workforce

As we have learned, telework and remote work collaboration offer undeniable perks to businesses. Although reduced overhead and improved worker satisfaction are great advantages for any company, telework also introduces a lot of challenges. Most remote workers feel isolated. They can’t connect with their team as easily as they would like. They also experience burnout.

The good news is that there are ways you can address these challenges and keep your team connected. With the right remote collaboration tools, your team can work smarter, faster and improve communication. What technology do you need? Let’s discuss five tools that improve collaboration so your remote workforce can thrive.

1) Personalize the Meeting Space with Live Video Chat Technology

We all know about the tremendous rise in popularity of video chat software. In April 2020, Zoom saw over a 60 percent increase in their consumers’ spending. The reason why is simple. Zoom, Slack and Google Hangouts offer face-to-face interactions that increase engagement. Remote workers initiate team collaboration instant meetings, screen-share important resources, record valuable information for future use and stay informed in chat rooms.

With video conferencing software, teams can host teleconference meetings quickly and effectively. They can invite unlimited participants. People can stream from pretty much any type of device. This allows employees to foster teamwork and collaboration. Whether you’re hosting a companywide meeting, one-on-ones, training course, client meeting, or virtual event, live video chat technology facilitates a creative work environment that brings teams closer together from anywhere.

2) Connect Through Communication Solutions

Internal emails are no longer a thing. All in-house messaging can now be performed with communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack. Remote workers can have private conversation threads, organize group chats or align projects into specific group channels. They can also take advantage of integrated file sharing, easy search features and video conferencing capabilities that make working on projects easier.

Although chat rooms are often seen as a workplace distraction, this is a misperception. Team communication tools allow teams to assemble in one place, organize their workflows and get across the information they need quickly and clearly. Team communication solutions speed up work on projects and make certain everyone is on the same page.

3) Prioritize Tasks with Workflow Management Tools

To get your team working together from anywhere, you need a workflow management tool that can help you coordinate projects, prioritize tasks and streamline operations. With a project management tool like Jira, Trello, Basecamp, Monday or Wrike, you have access to in-depth planning features, project tracking applications and a clear visual presentation of task flows. There are also tools to assess employee productivity, get status updates on projects and more.

Remote collaboration and workflow tools help your employees set priorities, meet deadlines and share resources. These applications also provide managers with transparency around productivity and the statuses of projects. With the right workflow management tools, your remote team can enjoy their flexible work schedule and still have the guidance they need for assignments.

4) Use Microsoft 365 for Complete Team Collaboration

For complete collaboration solutions, Microsoft 365 checks off all the boxes, especially for remote work. With a multi-purpose application, remote workforces can use the same applications they have used their entire career on a cloud-based platform. They can work on projects together, share worksheets instantly, reduce overlap, miscommunication and other issues that impact productivity.

Microsoft 365 allows teams to work smarter and faster in a shared workspace. Companies can coordinate everything they need, including internal and client-facing meetings with shared calendars. Teams can also collaborate seamlessly with access to team chat messaging sessions, video conferencing meetings and shared worksheets.

Download Our eBook for More Tips

With the right people, processes and technology, you can collaborate at your best and make remote work easier. If you are interested in learning more work from home collaboration tips, download our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Empowering Your Remote Workforce.

3 Creative Ways to Motivate Your Remote Workforce

According to a Harvard Business Review study, 71 percent of the managers surveyed believe that employee engagement is one of the most critical factors in overall organizational success. Considering that most organizations shifted to remote work in 2020, it’s fair to say that every organization could use more work-from-home motivation.

In today’s fast-paced environment, it can be challenging for businesses to keep their team focused and connected. But suppose you can find creative ways to increase your remote team’s engagement. In that case, you will see increased productivity, improved work quality and a higher retention rate of top talent. If you are interested in boosting remote workforce engagement, review these three creative ways to motivate your remote team. For more ways to empower your remote workforce, download our Ultimate Guide.

1) Encourage Face-to-Face Interactions

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we can have face-to-face interactions from anywhere. Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack can boost engagement and help create a workplace culture that everyone loves. Daily meetings on video are now part of the new normal. There are several other ways that video conferencing technology can increase workforce engagement, including:

-Send Quick Video Messages: Every interaction doesn’t have to be live. Break up the monotony of the video call by sending remote employees prerecorded video messages. Keep them up to date on projects, offer training tips or thank them for their hard work.

-Hold One-on-One Meetings: The perception is that remote workers want to be left alone. The reality is that most remote workers wish to have personalized attention. Hold bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with each member of your team and listen to what they have to say.

-Host Virtual Events: Successful companies have shown an incredible amount of creativity to boost engagement through fun virtual events. Whether it’s a virtual lunch-and-learn, happy hour, trivia game or holiday party, help your team facilitate ways to interact with one another outside of work.

2) Keep Them Connected from Anywhere

To fight off feelings of isolation, remote teams want to connect with their colleagues. Closer communication can also lead to a happier, more productive workforce, so it’s a win-win for employers and remote teams alike to stay connected. With Microsoft 365, remote teams have access to communication tools like Microsoft Teams. This cloud-based platform keeps them engaged in a centralized location for all their communication needs. They can message each other, organize group chats, schedule video calls and share documents in real time.

Team communication tools improve your project workflow, and they can also help team members build relationships. Employees can chat through messenger, celebrate special events in group channels and hold one-on-one video meetings all in one convenient application. The latest technology keeps teams connected and collaborating at their best — and it also increases worker satisfaction.

3) Show Them You Appreciate Their Hard Work

High performers expect to be recognized, which can be a little more challenging when your team is working from home. Fortunately, several technology tools can help you reward your team how you see fit. Sending virtual gifts through email to your team never goes out of style, but if you want to increase company-wide visibility, give praise through a cloud-based HR tool like Bamboo HR or Zenefits. Another option is to invest in an online rewards program like Bonusly to gift your hard-working employees some additional perks. Regardless of how you reward your team, the goal is to show appreciation, improve your company culture and motivate your team.

Reach Out to a Technology Partner You Can Trust

When you drive work-from-home engagement and properly motivate your remote workforce, you can improve employee satisfaction, increase productivity, reduce overhead and reach your business goals. We hope this blog has helped you learn a few creative ways to motivate your team with the newest technologies. If you are interested in leveraging technology to improve the way your remote team works together, download our Ultimate Guide to Empower Your Remote Workforce to learn more.

How Your MSP Can Help You Navigate the Impact of 2020

2020 has been far more educational than most organizations realize. This past year’s events have set the stage for how all business will be conducted moving forward. The strongest and most dynamic companies adapted their communications and collaboration technologies to work efficiently from any location.

Open the Door to Success

“Communication is key” may read as cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Whether you’re aiming to grow a business relationship or strengthen an internal team’s ability to collaborate, clear and concise communication will always unlock success.

4 Ways to Increase Collaboration for Your Remote Workforce

Before the arrival of COVID-19, less than five percent of the U.S. population was working remotely full-time. A Gallup poll conducted in early April 2020 determined that over 60 percent of employed Americans worked from home during the crisis. This year, remote work became a necessity. With social distancing guidelines, government restrictions and serious concerns over a health crisis, businesses worldwide have had to adapt to the times, including allowing all non-essential employees to work from home.

Six Steps to Compliance

If you’re like most busy executives, compliance is a top priority — but it’s not necessarily at the top of your to-do list. Yet businesses of all sizes are governed by federal (and sometimes even international) regulations, and whether you like them or not, they’re in place for a good reason. As a business owner, it’s up to you to stay compliant and protect your precious data, but it’s a responsibility that nobody should shoulder alone.

Keep Everything in Check with Compliance as a Service

Running a successful business is hard work, and at the end of the day, the last thing you want to be worrying about is noncompliance. But in many industries, executives have no choice but to devote time and energy to meeting federal, and in some cases, even global regulations.

Keep Everything in Check with Compliance as a Service

Businesses are required to maintain compliance with regulations that are constantly changing or risk being penalized with costly fines or worse. Not only is your reputation on the line, but you could be putting your customers’ or patients’ sensitive data at risk. These headaches can be forgotten with Compliance as a Service (CaaS), which facilitates the management of private information and keeps everything HIPAA compliant and PCI compliant. If you’re handing personal details about someone’s health or credit cards, you can protect that data and reduce stress with CaaS.

4 Steps to Disaster Recovery

In the wake of COVID-19 – an unprecedented situation – businesses have begun to realize the importance of planning for the unpredicted. A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is the best place to start because it ensures you’ll have access to everything you need to continue to conduct business in the event that something happens. But where do you begin, and what do you need to do to get started? We’ve pulled together four necessary steps to disaster recovery.