Managing Workplace Security as Employees Return to Work

by | Jun 29, 2020 | Hybrid Workforce

As COVID-19 started to spread in the U.S., all types of organizations suddenly faced unprecedented workplace security issues. From protecting the health of employees by shifting to remote work where possible, to defending against cyberthreats in an unusual work-from-home environment, companies had to quickly rise to the challenge.

While many organizations have been able to stay secure so far, they cannot afford to ease up as some businesses begin to re-open offices and other facilities. Workplace security needs to remain a priority, with the emphasis now shifting to tightening up cybersecurity protections in an on-site or hybrid-remote environment, while also continuing to monitor health risks and trying to minimize further spread of the virus.

Protecting On-Site IT Security

During the quick shift to remote work during stay-at-home orders, your IT team may have had to quickly adjust access policies and facilitate secure network access via VPNs or other tools to enable employees to log in from home. While these elements of workplace security may still be in focus for companies that continue to allow for remote work at least part of the time, businesses also need to be cognizant of situations where remote access needs to be disabled or adjusted as more employees return to corporate workplaces. Plus, as more activity shifts back to corporate networks, with employees logging into company devices from their workstations, IT teams may also need to refocus on areas such as monitoring network activity and blocking threats via firewalls, rather than putting all the emphasis on securing endpoints. While these facets of workplace security related to remote work (e.g. securing endpoints) should continue to play a role, it’s important to ensure your IT team focuses on protecting on-site security as well.

If you’ve yet to take actions like conducting an audit of your corporate IT network to assess workplace security risks, now could be a good time to shore up any gaps that might have existed before the pandemic or which might have grown during this unusual period. Relatedly, if employees need additional training or education on cybersecurity best practices, your IT team may want to make this a priority as employees return to offices; that way they can discuss sensitive cybersecurity issues in-person as needed.

Improving Health Security

As employees return to the office, it’s important not to ignore the threat of COVID-19. Things may be “getting back to normal” per se, but a complete return to pre-pandemic practices doesn’t seem feasible anytime soon. Instead, companies need to implement workplace security practices like temperature screenings to help protect employees, customers and other stakeholders, while also helping people feel more comfortable in this new environment.

When conducting these workplace security health checks, companies may also need to record the health data they capture for compliance, contact tracing or other purposes. As such, IT teams need to be involved in ensuring the tracking, security and accessibility of this data.

Leveraging tools like our new, lightweight health check app can help. The app determines whether or not an employee can enter the workplace on the spot, based on the compliance setting you choose – including temperature, workplace safety gear and other customizable options. It then records that data, automatically pushing it into your chosen system of record.

See how this health check app can help your company improve workplace security as employees begin to return to your office.

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