Insecurity of Everything: A Cybersecurity & Business Column, " />

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The past two years have represented a whirlwind of change in the office. Workers have more determination and power than ever to craft an office that reflects their work-life balance wishes.

Companies have varying levels of readiness for these imminent changes, which include everything from hiring challenges, to employees working from home long-term, to real estate divestitures that create waves. From a security perspective, all of these changes represent new vulnerabilities.

Here’s how businesses can do a spot assessment to see if they are ready for the post-COVID workplace in terms of cybersecurity:

1–Consider how you control technology assets. Supply chain difficulties and workforce demand have come together to make more companies comfortable with employees using their own laptops and phones than ever. But try to set standard policies across your organization in order to make it as easy as possible to put in uniform security solutions. For example, all employees going forward will be provided with a corporate laptop, even if working from home. Or, alternatively, all employees who work from home going forward will be asked to use their own laptop at a reimbursement from the company. This will allow security teams to streamline how they operate going forward, with a uniform set of controls for all employees. 

2–Ensure corporate assets are appropriately discarded. As real estate needs rapidly shift, and companies take advantage of significant changes in lease availability and cost, companies will be moving not just employees but hard technology around at a rapid pace. Ensure that security teams are engaged in this process and that office technology is disposed of securely. The real estate hustle may be moving very fast now, but laptops, mobile devices and even printers store valuable corporate and customer information and should be handled carefully. In many cases, when companies move, they discard and replace many of their devices. Everything they get rid of should be recycled — not sent to landfill, and it is critical that all data is fully destroyed during that process. For peace of mind, businesses need to make sure they partner with a responsible and certified ITAD provider or electronics recycler. Look for certifications from NAID AAA, R2, e-Stewards, and ISO 9001. These four are only given to e-recyclers who pass surprise audits to guarantee they follow laws, use environmentally-responsible practices, and maintain security at all stages of data destruction.

3–Update your security policies. Most companies have a list of information security policies housed somewhere. When was the last time you read yours? Updating these policies is not a priority in many organizations, but doing so has some immediate security benefits. If you are B2B, you can have a much more rapid set of up-to-date answers when they ask security questions. You can ensure you are bringing new staff, locations and processes under controls that have been appropriately updated for the post-COVID environment. With both of these, you can look at fewer incidents and issues months and years down the road. 

Security strategy can sometimes be a slow-moving beast, unsuited for a rapidly changing real and virtual work world. But with a few key pivots, any company can improve its position for the future.

Kate Fazzini is CEO of Flore Albo LLC, an adjunct professor of cybersecurity at Georgetown University, author of Kingdom of Lies: Unnerving Adventures in the World of Cybercrime and has served as a cybersecurity reporter for The Wall Street Journal and CNBC.

John Shegerian is co-founder and Chairman/CEO of ERI, the nation’s leading fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company. The first five readers who send an e-mail to this address link will receive a free signed copy of John’s new book, The Insecurity of Everything.

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