The spread of Covid-19 is growing and with it the anxiety levels of businesses around the globe. What will you do if you have a confirmed case of the virus in your office? Offices these days tend to be more open plan and collaborative so the chances of a virus spreading between employees may be increased.

(Note: An article with tips for managing anxiety and improving personal resilience is available to Resilience First members.)

At my company, we have started allowing a more flexible work policy. If your job and your daily activities allow you to work from home, you can. However, as a company, the working from home policy has not largely been implemented for various reasons. It is partly due to personal preference and partly due to a stigma around productivity dropping when you work from home. It is mostly because it isn’t our norm…yet.

The facts show otherwise around the stigma and perception of working from home. Perhaps this virus will change the minds of those worried about it.

As someone who has started working from home about once a week, I can tell you that it is an adjustment. At first, my anxiety levels increased but so did my productivity. I was not prepared to feel such anxiety but the idea that my co-workers thought I was watching Netflix or playing with my cat too much really got to me. To counteract this feeling, I worked even harder. Soon, I started to feel happier at home, facing less distractions from our open office setup.

However, I still face limitations in my home setup. If more and more businesses are to start allowing employees to work from home, these employees need to be sufficiently prepared.

Thanks to Microsoft Teams, I am able to collaborate to the same degree as I do when I am in the office. I hate using the video, but hey ho, give and take…

I currently live alone so my internet connection is usually perfect (and password protected). I have a cell phone with good service and my company-provided laptop has anti-virus and encryption software installed. I am good to go.

My questions are…

  • If your employees are without laptops, do you have a policy that allows personal laptops to be used for business related purposes?
  • Was your network architecture designed securely to support teleworking?
  • Are your data exfiltration solutions configured properly and actually perform as intended?
  • Is your Citrix or any other remote desktop solution tested for potential security flaws and false configurations that may allow malicious individuals to leverage such weaknesses against your organisation?
  • Have you considered running a phishing campaign on your behalf to raise employees' security awareness when they are far from sight?
  • And, eventually, can your Security Operations Centre (SOC) detect remote users’ potentially malicious action and react in time?

These are questions you need to ask now before it is too late, before you are scrambling to get your employees up and running at home when isolation is enforced. If you have asked these questions and are currently preparing for the worst-case scenario, great. If you didn’t, you should give a thought…