As if you need reminding, but earlier this year people scrambled to adapt their lives as the COVID-19 pandemic affected every aspect, no matter where in the world you were.
At the advice of national governments, children were stopped from attending schools, and many were told to work from home for the foreseeable future.
We are now six months plus into the ‘New Normal’ and working patterns have adapted to suit, but so has the ever-present threat of cyber-attacks. Recent research from Verizon found that our changing work patterns are vulnerable to potential hackers.
Naturally, in times of crisis, it’s quick fixes that are relied upon. Many organizations have adopted solutions such as updating guidance to homeworkers regarding security, securing personal devices, and generally tightening up practices as best as possible. But quick fixes are just that, and not a sustainable solution. This begs the question, What Now?
With cases on the rise again on a global, national, and regional scale, it would appear the remote working is going to stick around for some time yet. Are your quick fixes sustainable? Are they able to flex to a rapidly changing situation?
What can you do?
While organizations can begin by setting up secure practices and training for remote workers, it doesn’t stop there. To ensure your business maintains compliance with privacy regulations in your region, wherever your employees are based in the future, start by adjusting any privacy practices as needed. A few steps for businesses to consider:
- The way your company collects and uses data should still be the same, but you may need to enact new security measures to ensure employees handle data securely at home.
- Any compliance officers in charge of meeting disclosure requirements will need to be able to securely access any consumer data from home — a process that will likely require additional security measures and tools.
- To ease any customer concerns and provide some much-needed certainty, let your customers know of any new security measures you put in place. Making customers aware of any changes will make them feel more confident doing business with you during this time and help build trust and loyalty.
- For any business handling consumers’ sensitive payment details, adopt a PCI compliance solution that works across multiple customer engagement channels. Complying with the PCI DSS, which is the highest standard of security for payments, can help to ensure compliance with additional data privacy regulations and protect your company and customers from data breaches – whether you’re taking payment details from the office or at home.
Being victim of a data breach will not make these difficult times any easier. Employees and consumers alike are looking to organizations to prioritize security and compliance while ensuring that the tools are in place to securely work remote. We don’t have a blueprint to know what the workplace will look like in a month, or in 6 months, but taking these steps today towards improving your organization’s security practices will ensure that your company and employees are prepared for all that the future holds.
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