The coronavirus pandemic has led to many changes in the workplace, with the broad move to working from home being one of the most dramatic. With that shift away from the workplace, however, has come a breakdown in standard practices, leading to some employees relying on non-standard solutions for their workplace problems. In some cases, this has caused data security issues that can potentially impact how businesses protect their sensitive information.
The Move to Working From Home
COVID-19 has led many workplaces to move to working from home as a kind of new standard practice. Aside from helping to protect people from potential infectious diseases, this has the added effect of allowing people to conveniently work without needing to commute. However, this is reliant on people being able to maintain the standards they had while working in the office, which in some cases has proved to be more difficult than some people realized.
Use of Non-Standard Communications Tools
Almost every workplace, especially ones that regularly handle sensitive information, has a set of tools they rely on for the communication of confidential or proprietary data. Many companies have a standard set of practices in the office to facilitate this communication, minimizing the risk of leaks or data breaches. In the workplace, this is relatively easy to control, since you simply choose which programs to install on your workplace hardware, or which services to subscribe to.
At home, however, people have control over their own tools, which may be different from the ones your company uses as a matter of standard practice. As a matter of convenience, some workers will use alternative programs or services from those your company typically uses, to make things faster or easier for themselves. Unfortunately, every time they do this, they not only increase the risk of unauthorized access of sensitive data, but they also increase your legal liability by failing to adhere to your stated standards and practices.
Maintaining Standards and Practices
First, if you have employees working from home, be clear to emphasize that they should only be using programs and services approved by your company. In addition, you should make sure they have basic security features to minimize the risk of a data breach or accidental exposure of confidential information. Finally, you should educate your workers on data security, which can both protect your sensitive data and minimize your legal risk.
The business law attorneys at Blodnick, Fazio & Clark are skilled and knowledgeable in the areas of business law and commercial transactions. With offices conveniently located in Garden City, Nassau County, and Babylon, Suffolk County, the firm provides high-quality legal care at reasonable prices. If you require legal assistance concerning business startups, formation, corporate acquisitions and mergers, corporate restructuring, or another business matter, call (516) 280-7105 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.