Coronavirus & Cyberattacks: Making sure your remote teams communicate information safely

With the current situation, working remotely has become the norm for most companies. As important as it is, it also brings many challenges for employers and employees. Indeed, as it is commonly said “cyber criminals love a crisis.” As a manager, it is your duty to remind your team(s) to take even more precautions now that they are working from home.

Here are a few elements to increase you team and company security:

  1. Communicate to your employees the new security measures taken and remind them often of the essential elements

Always provide clear and precise instructions regarding the new proper way to communicate private or sensitive information. Remember to have these guidelines accessible in writing. Moreover, insist that employees have a good “cyber hygiene.” Their devices have to be up to date on anti-virus protection and they have to make sure they are using known and secure connections. The use of multi-factor authentication is favorable on accounts for which its available.

  1. Provide resources and assistance

More than ever, people are feeling isolated and left on their own. Therefore, it is very important to give them resources and assistance to help them adapt to this new reality.

  • Create a “COVID-19” section within the intranet to communicate the important information and new procedures/guidelines
  • Assign a person or assemble a team to be the designated resource to contact in case employees have questions/concerns

Also, encouraging employees to report as soon as possible any incident that could be damaging for the company is essential, so providing them with the means to do so is crucial.

  1. Be even more careful about suspicious emails

Cyber attackers capitalize on people’s fears and worries by sending phishing emails or text messages designed to encourage the receiver to click on a link to get important information about the coronavirus situation or with instructions, supposedly from their manager, to download a software on their company-issued device. Consequently, you must create awareness among your employees to minimize the risks: share videos and articles about this topic so that they are often reminded to be careful. Encourage employees to report any suspicious email so that others don’t fall for it.

  1. Make sure that your emergency contact list is updated in case of a cyber attack

Having a way to contact employees outside of the company’s systems is essential in case of a cyber-attack. That way, you will be able to communicate with employees and inform them of the situation. Moreover, it is important that senior management has a way to communicate together quickly and safely in order to handle the situation.

With a higher awareness surrounding data security from the employer and employees, clear guidelines, better support and an increased level of preparation in case of crisis, a company can better leverage its risk. But remember, “remote access is only as strong as its weakest link”
– Brenda R. Sharton, Harvard Business Review