The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in a significant increase in the number of people who are working remotely; and now is an important time for companies to step up their training for employees who are doing so.

In particular, companies should train their workers on the proper use of the Internet, emails and what they should – and shouldn’t – do while in a remote environment.

Although many (but not all!) businesses have strong IT protections and protocols in place in their office settings, the same may not be true in today’s modified work landscape. COVID-19 hit the United States like a tidal wave, and many businesses jumped quickly into “survival mode,” which meant finding a way to continue to operate without having the luxury of time to cross every “t” and dot every “i” in terms of how to function in the very different environment they suddenly found themselves in.

And so, many employees were sent home without a lot of training on how to operate safely and securely from an IT perspective while still being able to handle the ongoing business demands.

What does that mean?

If you think of the many types of businesses operating from remote locations – accounting, legal, marketing, healthcare, and more – you quickly realize how much sensitive information is transmitted back and forth electronically. For hackers, who seek to exploit the vulnerability of companies, it’s a potential payday.

Every infrastructure breach is potentially worth thousands of dollars to the cybercriminals and hours and hours of headaches for the company whose infrastructure has been compromised. The best defense against it is to do everything possible not to let it happen in the first place.

Those of us in the Managed Network, or IT space, spend a lot of time watching networks of the clients we are entrusted to serve. That means staying current on the latest protections against cyber intrusion. It means, sometimes, engaging in simulated attempted hacks on our clients’ infrastructure to determine weaknesses and find a solution before the next attempted hack is from a cybercriminal instead of the company’s IT partner.

The overwhelming majority of breaches can be traced to human error. In most cases, it isn’t that the employee intended to cause problems but instead fell victim to a cyber hoax. Cyber criminals have gotten more clever. Their use of language (English in particular) is better; they have become more proficient at inserting themselves into a company’s infrastructure. And, without the proper education on what these threats are, it is all too easy to be fooled.

Our next few blogs will delve into specifics and address issues such as “Why you shouldn’t open that email” and “Should your company allow remote employees to use their personal devices to access the company infrastructure.” We’re in a new world right now and precaution needs to be the light that guides us. We look forward to sharing our thoughts with you. And if you have a question about IT, working remotely, or any similar subjects, please reach out to us at info@pulsetechnology.com. We’ll be glad to hear from you, and we’ll answer you promptly!

Stay safe, and secure during these challenging times.

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