How to Protect Your Business in Remote Environments

 

October is Cybersecurity Awareness month. Is your business protected?  

 

Working from home comes with many perks, flexibility being one of the best. The accessibility and convenience of working remotely are appealing to many workers, especially Millennials and other young professionals. But choosing to have your employees work from home comes with potential risks, HR woes, and even legal issues.  

 

To mitigate possible issues with a hybrid or fully remote workforce, our team at Vested HR outlines the importance of cybersecurity, when to set policies and procedures, and how to include safeguards across your team.  

 

Workplace Trend: Working from Home  

 

Since the pandemic hit in 2020, the number of full-time teleworkers in the United States has increased by more than 40%.  

 

The benefits of a remote workplace  

cannot be dismissed.  

 

When you consider factors like increased financial savings and overall satisfaction among employees, telework is the way of the future for many industries.  

 

But how do you protect your business from cyberattacks and other risks when you have a remote workforce? Use the following suggestions as a guideline as you make plans to protect your business in a telework environment.  

 

Implementing Policies & Procedures 

 

When dealing with a work-from-home team, developing policies and procedures should be a top priority. These help offer assurance that your employees, clients, and business are protected.  

 

First, implement an employee handbook. Then, have training to make sure that your employees understand the policies and procedures so they can closely follow them. It is also good practice to ensure that all company guidelines are reviewed and signed off on by all employees, distant or not. As the policies and procedures change, make sure that your team acknowledges the updates.  

 

Your outsourced HR team at Vested HR will help check all those boxes with employee handbooks, onboarding, and ongoing team training for your in-office and remote staff. Lean on our HR experts anytime.  

 

Avoiding Wage & Hour Tracking Issues  

 

Employees working from home means that business owners need to be more careful to avoid common work-related wage and hour issues as well.  

 

This is where working with a PEO like Vested HR can be greatly beneficial as we will ensure that your employees are recording their hours accurately and depending on if they are 1099 contractors or W2 employees, taxes are being taken out correctly and they are getting paid on time.  

 

Remember, it is important to clearly communicate to your team that off-the-clock work, unauthorized overtime, and underreporting hours are prohibited.  

 

Cybersecurity & Mobile Encryption 

 

When your staff team works from home, it is important to note that cybersecurity and safety should be at the top of everyone’s minds. This is where mobile encryption comes in.  

 

Encryption protects critical data  

from falling into the wrong hands.  

 

When encryption is put in place, data is automatically converted into something that cannot be deciphered without the right authentication key. This is an important safeguard to set up if you have a remote workplace.  

 

When it comes to customer data, there are a few things that you can do in addition to mobile encryption to keep important information secure: 

 

  • Ensure all internet connections are secure 
  • Use a password manager 
  • Rely on two-factor authentication 
  • Use firewalls and anti-virus software on all devices and keep them updated regularly 

 

Tips to Safeguard Remote Workspaces  

 

If your team works remotely, it is crucial to keep cybersecurity a priority. Here are a few more tips to further safeguard your business: 

 

  • Be aware of who can view Google Drive and Dropbox: The data stored in these cloud-based platforms are generally safe, as they are heavily encrypted. Make sure you know who has access to your shared folders to avoid theft and breaches of important info. 
     
  • Use secure apps for work-related messaging: Do not allow employees to have work-related discussions in Facebook Messenger. Apps like Teams, Asana, or Slack are made for professional use and have strong security in place. 
     
  • Use a VPN: A virtual private network encrypts data end-to-end. Make sure your team knows to use a VPN before signing onto a public Wi-Fi network.  

 

Often, employees are the cause of security breaches. The more you empower your employees to be proactive about setting up secure connections and other safeguards, the more confident that they will be in telework environments.  

 

How a PEO Protects Your Data  

 

As with most small businesses, you likely use multiple systems to perform your HR functions. How do you keep track of it all? Working with a PEO of course! 

 

A PEO hosts all of your HR data in one place, and with multiple security levels, only authorized individuals will have access to certain information.  

 

For example, employees will only have access to the information you want them to view such as their benefits, tax withholding, or pay stubs. Entire company payroll, taxes, and other important HR information are only available to you & your HR team.  

 

Protect Your Business in Remote Environments with Vested HR  

 

From tracking employee hours to protecting your HR data all in one place, having a PEO partner like Vested HR to help safeguard your business is greatly beneficial in the ever-changing distant workplace.  

 

Have greater peace of mind with a hybrid or remote workforce. Choose Vested HR for all your payroll, HR, and worker’s compensation tasks. Call our outsourced HR department today at (727) 474-2114 to see how we can best support your business