After over a year of finally figuring out the logistics associated with working-from-home, businesses are beginning to bring employees back into the office.

Although this is a good indication that a post-pandemic era is upon us, there are considerations and hesitations, especially associated with cybersecurity. People, equipment, and software have all been configured to work remotely, so what will the transition back to the office look like? The reality is that most companies will have to optimize their systems to be compatible with both remote and in-office work.

We’ve compiled a list of helpful cybersecurity considerations for companies to be mindful of when transitioning back to the office, while also having remote teams.

 

Tip #1: Transition back to the office in phases

Going back to the office is going to be overwhelming for everyone, but especially the IT team and HR. Instead of having staff return to the office all in one day, use a phased approach. This means that team members should be scheduled to come to the office back in waves. Doing this will allow HR to communicate new policies and procedures more clearly to a smaller group of people. Meanwhile, IT can gather remote devices and optimize them for in-office use in a more organized manner. Overall, a phased approach will help IT and HR ensure staff are set back up at their desks or offices with all of the equipment needed to do their jobs.

Tip #2: Perform device inventory, scan for cyber threats and check for updates

As your IT team begins to collect remote devices back from employees, it’s a great chance to take an inventory of all office equipment, such as monitors, webcams, keyboards, cell phones, etc. Once you’ve taken inventory, check for software updates that employees might not have performed while working remotely. Ensuring computers are running under the most up-to-date version of software helps promote the longevity, performance, and security of the system. Additionally, it is extremely important to scan devices for cyber threats prior to re-initiating them to corporate servers.

Tip #3: Authorize office-wide password updates

Frequent password changes are one of the easiest ways to protect your company’s network from phishing attacks, malware and other cyber threats. Mandate an office-wide password change upon employees’ return to the office to reduce the likelihood of hackers infiltrating your systems. 

 

Tip #4: Transfer data back to managed server

 

The reality of remote work meant company data was being accessed on personal, unprotected servers. Although this was necessary at the time, personal devices are more vulnerable to cyber threats and malware. As you transition back into the office, employees should transfer all data back onto a company-managed device to ensure its utmost protection.

Tip #5: Formalize new plans to reflect the reality of in-office and remote employees

As we embrace the new reality of having mixed teams working in-office and at home, IT and HR should formalize these plans and procedures. Having formal guidelines in place for this new evolution of work will help communicate policies more effectively and allow IT to optimize equipment and support for remote work. 

Transitioning back to working in the office is bound to be a learning experience, as was transition teams to work remotely. Organizations must be patient and understand that the transition period will likely be overwhelming for everyone. Using a phased approach when transitioning employees back to the office will help keep the process organized and efficient, while precautionary cybersecurity measures will help keep data and equipment secure.

BrunNet can help provide guidance and support for remote teams transitioning back to working in the office. Contact us today to learn more about our managed services and IT solutions.