Many municipalities were caught off-guard when the COVID-19 pandemic required them to make a swift change to remote work. Businesses at all levels, but particularly in local government, were forced to address a host of concerns from a shortage of secure infrastructure and increased risks of cyber-attacks to untrained staff managing critical information without the help of their IT team. Let’s take a look:
Without pre-planning for a teleworking-friendly structure, many offices were ill-prepared for the stay-at-home orders at the outset of the pandemic. Lacking reliable communication and collaboration tools like VoIP or a committed hosting platform, many didn’t even have the basics to properly support the remote workforce.
Experience and Security
Supervisors that weren’t ready for a massive disruption of daily operations suffered the most because they could not accurately monitor the remote activity of workers. Without simple and reliable communications, employees lacked a unified system to stay connected properly. Lacking proper infrastructure and security, potentially malicious emails went unchecked, risking critical security breaches. Some switched to business texting to communicate. This is not a long-term solution because it could cause even bigger issues for organizations dealing with private information like HIPAA data or Social Security information for clients.
The Right Tools for the Job
While the apps we use in our personal lives are generally fine for keeping in touch with friends and family, most of them aren’t secure enough for sending private information. The same goes for many “freemium” cloud storage companies. The danger escalates with workers that may not be familiar with such apps, creating unwanted security risks.
Unless you are highly skilled and familiar with security and the underlying components, throwing together a communication plan haphazardly can result in a lack of monitoring and security. A wide array of non-compatible personal devices lacking anti-virus protection or older operating systems is an invitation to exploitation from hackers.
Not Everyone is Tech-Savvy
98% of cyber attacks rely on social engineering, like phishing emails and fraudulent phone calls. While most companies have security teams trained in identifying social engineering attacks on network devices, remote workers are more at-risk.
With more workers either working remotely or in a hybrid office-home model, businesses need to enlist a trusted source for increasing security.
Keep your staff informed. It is critical to keep employees informed on the latest forms of attack. Explain to your staff how to properly use and update company equipment as well as what steps to take in the event of a cyber attack or security breach.
Use a Trusted and Dependable Cloud Company
Many municipalities handle sensitive data, like medical and financial information, necessitating a reliable and secure method for data storage. Carolina Digital Phone has been in the cloud business for over 20 years and understands the importance of providing the best possible security for storing private data. If you have more questions about how to properly set up your company’s cloud-based communications, call us at (336) 544-4000. Our professionals are ready to help you.