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Gaining a competitive edge during the pandemic

Gaining a competitive edge during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone. The lockdowns, the need to follow social distancing--though indispensable--have been tough on individuals and also resulted in a lot of revenue loss to businesses. For SMBs though, this time has been particularly difficult, with a general downturn in the economy and the job losses, which has been affecting people’s ability to make purchases. In the middle of all these challenges, SMBs are grappling with yet another issue--the need to keep their business running, even remotely in some cases. A lot of businesses had a tough time adapting to the work-from-home setup. Since this sudden transition to the work-from-home model was largely unplanned, a lot of them became victims of cybercrime and many more are being targeted even as you read this.

If you're one of those businesses that implemented the WFH model overnight, then it’s time you paid attention to the cybersecurity angle of it. Here are some ways to do that-

  1. First things first. Establish a work-from-home/BYOD policy that defines the roles and responsibilities of your employees as they operate from home. Clearly define the extent to which they will be held accountable in the event of a data breach at their end.
  2. Are you providing your employees with the systems/devices they need to work from home? Or, are they using their own devices. If they are using their own devices, then there’s only so much control you can exercise in terms of access and functionality. What you can do, as a positive reinforcement though, is provide them with powerful anti-malware software access that they can install on their devices, which can keep your data safe even as they work on it.
  3. Train your staff on common cybercrime modus operandi and help them identify instances where they are facing a cyberthreat. This will help them steer clear of the usual suspects such as phishing links, clone websites, suspicious attachments, dubious emails, etc.,
  4. Educate your staff on cyber security best practices such as password hygiene, avoiding public WiFi connections, etc.
  5. Consider using technologies such as the Cloud and remote desktop access. Such technologies do not store your data on the employee’s device, giving you greater control over how, when and from where the data is accessed.
The Coronavirus pandemic made the work-from-model a necessity and while businesses hurriedly switched to that to keep the wheels turning, many are increasingly beginning to consider it as a permanent solution to keep operating costs low, and employees happy--many appreciate the lack of commute, freedom and better work/life balance WFH has to offer. This means, WFH is here to stay even post-pandemic. Now is the time to invest in creating a secure work from home environment and an experienced MSP can help you get there faster.

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