The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led many businesses to adopt remote work. And now, remote personnel are engaging with one another and clients from around the world. Doing so is helping companies deliver products, services, and support that match or exceed client expectations. But it can create security challenges relative to workplace communications.
Guest post by Katie Brenneman. Photo by Ono Kosuki.
Today’s businesses must establish secure workplace communications protocols. Otherwise, failure to do so can put a company, its employees, and its customers in danger.
Why Businesses Must Prioritize Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is paramount for businesses to secure their workplace communications — and there are several reasons why this is the case.
First, research indicates cybercrime has increased during the pandemic. Hackers are increasingly using phishing, ransomware, and other advanced cyberattacks to target businesses and their employees. If successful, these attacks provide cybercriminals with access to sensitive business data. From here, hackers can use this information for identity theft and other malicious activities.
In addition, cyberattack costs are rising. An IBM report revealed the average cost of a data breach totalled $4.24 million (US) in 2021. This figure is up from $3.86 million in 2020 and represents the highest average total cost of a data breach reported by IBM in the past 17 years.
Let’s not forget about the damage caused by cybercriminals, either. To date, Target, Experian, and many other globally recognised brands have experienced data breaches. In these instances, the data breaches resulted in substantial revenue losses and brand reputation damage. They even caused compliance penalties as well.
Cybercriminals target workplace communications and the networks and systems that support them. For businesses, they must establish protocols to ensure workplace communications remain secure at all times. With a commitment to cybersecurity, a company can create and maintain these protocols and get the most value out of them.
Make Cybersecurity a Top Priority
Businesses of all sizes and across all industries are susceptible to cyberattacks. Fortunately, a company can prioritize cybersecurity today and reap the benefits of its efforts long into the future.
To get started with cybersecurity, a business can establish secure workplace communications protocols. This may require a company to develop a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy.
A BYOD policy defines the devices employees can use for workplace communications. In some instances, a company may implement a BYOD policy that allows workers to solely utilize company-issued devices. Comparatively, certain businesses enable employees to use their personal devices for work.
When crafting a BYOD policy, establish clear terms and definitions. The policy should leave no room for grey areas. Rather, the policy should make it easy for employees to understand what devices they can use for workplace communications. It should define the ramifications if an employee violates BYOD guidelines, too.
Furthermore, a BYOD policy should explain any security software that workers must implement and maintain across their devices. This software must be updated and patched regularly. This ensures workers are well-equipped to guard against cyber threats.
A BYOD policy must also address the communications concerns associated with remote work. The policy should define how remote personnel can communicate with each other via myriad devices. It should establish a common language for all communications among remote workers.
Be Persistent to Optimize Your Security Posture
Along with developing and maintaining a BYOD policy, it can be beneficial to offer cybersecurity awareness training to employees. This training ensures workers can gain insights into different types of cyberattacks and the risks associated with them. Plus, it can empower workers with the knowledge they need to identify and mitigate cyberattacks before they escalate.
A cybersecurity awareness training program should account for common security challenges that a business faces. For instance, a company that employs remote workers should integrate phishing awareness training into its program. This ensures that workers can learn about phishing attacks that cybercriminals frequently use to attack remote staff.
Keep the lines of communication open with employees relative to cybersecurity awareness training. Reach out to workers for feedback regarding a cybersecurity awareness training program. This allows a business to continuously find ways to improve its program. It can even help a business improve safety communication in the workplace.
Finally, remain diligent with a cybersecurity awareness training program. Review the program regularly per your business’s security efforts. If the program is successful, a company can ensure it is properly protected against cyberattacks now and in the future.
The Bottom Line on Establishing Secure Workplace Communications Protocols
Secure workplace communications protocols are difference-makers. These protocols can help businesses protect sensitive data against cyberattacks. Also, they can lower the risk of costly and time-intensive data breaches.
Yet secure workplace communications protocols represent one of several components a business must integrate into its cybersecurity strategy.
A business must incorporate security into all aspects of its daily operations. Establishing secure workplace communications protocols offers a great starting point to achieve this goal. But a company must commit time, energy, and resources to consistently bolster its security posture.
Get started with establishing secure workplace communications protocols. Next, a company can build a BYOD policy, cybersecurity awareness training program, and other initiatives to secure its operations. And going forward, this company can remain secure against current and emerging cyber threats.