While critical to keep businesses running smoothly during the COVID-19 outbreak, employees working remotely presents an increased risk to confidential company information. Maintaining the safety of this data is the responsibility of not just employers but employees too, so they must work together to ensure critical security methods are adhered to.

The following are five useful ways to keep company information secure when employees are working from home:

1. Use a secure server

Only secure servers must be used when staff are working remotely. Using this protocol will ensure important data can only be altered, accessed, deleted, or share by users with the appropriate authorisation. Systems that manage documents effectively should be adopted so that any content that is received or revised can always be saved to an enterprise’s secure systems. Confidential company documents must never be stored or saved locally unless secure measures approved by your IT team are instated.

Employees must be careful to correctly sign in and out of enterprise servers to make certain other users with access to their home network cannot interact with company content.

2. Employ safe devices

If possible, employees working from home should only perform their roles on IT devices approved by the company. Staff using personal equipment like laptops or tablets to work provides a higher risk to confidential data security, especially when these devices are shared with other household members.

3. Never use personal email

Obstacles like secure servers, company mailboxes and printers being temporarily inoperative may tempt personnel to forward documents and emails to their own personal accounts so they can continue working on data without disruption. Employees should never use personal accounts to view company emails and documents, as this is a dangerous security risk.

4. Avoid text messaging

Personnel based at home should be mindful of using text messages and chat apps to convey company information or discuss sensitive work with colleagues. Smartphones owned by employees are far less likely to possess the same level of security as enterprise chat platforms or internal email services, which should be used to communicate instead.

5. Print and dispose of documents securely

Documents printed at home present a severe risk to confidential company data and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) retained by businesses. Employees must be advised to only print documents if it is vital and ensure they are always kept securely. When they are no longer required, they must be correctly disposed of.

While most offices have a clear procedure for the destruction of private documents, from confidential disposal units to company shredders at home, workers may not have such options. Companies can revise giving employees the ability to print, where no appropriate measures are available.

A secure workspace

At Galaxkey, we have created a secure workspace that allows staff to work from wherever they need to safely and effectively. Our platform is simple for employees to use and allows them to work collaboratively sharing files and emails on any device. Contact our team today for a free 14-day trial.