The coronavirus pandemic has forced many organizations to create a virtual workforce. Changing an enterprise workforce to be remote is a project that normally takes years and yet there are amazing tales of technical heroics, moving thousands of people from offices and call centers in a matter of days. This transformation to a virtual workforce has been challenging both for end users and businesses. Businesses have to catch up to the change to ensure they are putting the right culture and tools in the hands of their employees to enable them to be an effective remote workforce.
The golden rule for creating a virtual workforce is to communicate! communicate! communicate! The new virtual workforce needs to understand what the new rules are in this paradigm. What tools should they be using? Are they allowed to use their personal devices, can they text their work colleagues with technical information, for instance? It is critical at this time to release guidance on what tools your employees should be using and when. Remote conferencing is key to allow face to face contact and if you really want to ensure that there is effective communication, then ask meeting attendees to keep their webcams on. Multiple studies have shown people are more engaged and connected when they can see each other. It is not uncommon for users to shy away from using webcams so it is wise to start creating a culture that requires people to turn their cameras on. Create a workforce that communicates well remotely by getting everyone to turn their webcams on!
The chapter has scheduled an exciting webinar on April called, Work Securely, Work Remotely, Work Effectively: The New Pandemic Paradigm. Register so you can ask questions live. Microsoft, Zoom and NTT will be providing answers to your questions.
Security is a priority in this new world created by the pandemic; phishing is up 265% and ransomware is up 400%. Is the primary tool for your workforce laptops or virtual desktop instances? Do they have the right tools in place for malware detection, remote updates, web security and VPN security? It is important that you look at your current licensing; there may tools and capabilities that you are not using that you really should be leveraging. One of the critical places to start is enabling multi factor authentication. Employees have cell phones, and you can use their devices for secondary authentication leveraging simple text messaging. Building a prioritized list of critical controls for remote working will ensure the business is resilient to the new threats.
We have created an exciting list of virtual workshops to ensure our members and the greater public have the information that they need to work effectively and securely. Please do contact us if you would like to contribute to the information that we all desperately need to share.
Keep checking our website for an up to date list of virtual events as we bring the very best in expert advice on how you can transform your work environment to be as secure and effective as possible.
Sushila Nair has twenty year’s experience in computing infrastructure, business and security and has worked in a number of diverse areas — telecommunications, risk analysis, credit card fraud, and has served as a legal expert witness. She has presented at numerous international conferences including CACS, Segurinfo and RSA. She currently serves as the marketing director at the ISACA Greater Washington, D.C. chapter
Sushila is a qualified lead auditor in BS 17799, CISA, CISSP, CISM, CRISC.