Remote work during the quarantine period: how to protect data

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Remote work during the quarantine period: how to protect data

Working remotely is one of the few ways that a business can stay afloat during the massive quarantine events caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

However, the rapid reformatting of business triggered by new realities carries a number of threats. Setting up remote work is not as difficult as it seems at first glance. If a company has a sufficient fleet of laptops, sending all employees home with a minimum set of necessary hardware and software is a matter of hours. Enterprising managers can even try to avoid time tracking system, if only to oblige their personnel to report to the management via e-mail or Skype. Of course, the effectiveness of such a method is questionable: what exactly an employee will be doing between such “reports” is a big question, but at least the boss will be able to see those who remain involved in the life of the business.

A much greater danger is posed by databases to which management itself grants open access, completely losing sight of all processes. In any modern company there are a lot of programs without which the work is already impossible. All kinds of 1C, CRM and ERP systems have brought maximum convenience to the life of office employees by systematizing and collecting necessary information in one place. The database programs stored almost everything: contacts of colleagues, data on partners and suppliers, lists of clients. A centralized data storage system is not only convenient for users, but also facilitates the task of an intruder who dares to steal information. After all, all the eggs are already neatly stacked in one basket.

Uncontrolled use of CRM and ERP is dangerous not only when working remotely. Even in the office, under the watchful eye of the boss, without additional security systems, no one can guarantee that the cunning insider does not try to steal valuable business information. A “visual” work control is a fiction that provides no protection against anything.

In the quarantine mode of working at home the situation is considerably aggravated. Firstly, moral restraints are turned off: the boss does not see – so anything is allowed. Secondly, quarantine events are accompanied by economic collapse – many employees start thinking about additional sources of income. And what could be easier than selling confidential information to competitors?

The only effective way to prevent emergencies is to take full surveillance of all data movements.

Modern monitoring systems are capable of tracking an employee's “digital activity”: surfing the Internet; copying data to flash drives, clouds and email; accessing critical documents, and so on. And, of course, activity in various CRM and ERP systems.

The implementation of data collection and storage systems without control programs that can record access to data and track its further use, does more harm than good. This is particularly acute in businesses with geographically dispersed teams or employees.

By implementing monitoring complexes with a DLP component, business will not only reliably protect data, but also keep records of working time, separating productive activity of personnel from malicious activity. Desk control functionality, which captures screenshots and compiles them into gif files along with visual reports of staff working hours, allows analyzing the productivity in minutes. Thanks to the “gentle” monitoring mode, which allows employees to switch surveillance on and off independently, any potential discomfort from control will be minimized.

A separate plus is the biometric identification system – facial recognition. This option will determine who accessed confidential information and will be indispensable for investigation in case of emergency.

In a time of epidemiological crisis, it is crucial not only to move employees to home office mode, but also to implement adequate metrics and personnel control systems along with data protection tools. To make it easier for businesses, we have launched three initiatives at once.