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Keeping Data Security Intact with Remote Teams

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Data security is always top of mind, but as staffing and recruiting companies put processes in place to keep their teams active in their own homes, the topic is in the spotlight again. 

Tommy Donnelly, Bullhorn’s SVP of Information Productivity and Security, answers a few of the frequently asked data security questions we’re hearing from clients as many people adjust to remote workforces. 

What rules or expectations should I put in place in regards to using personal devices now at home?

First, the golden rule is do not use your personal device unless it’s an absolute emergency and you get approval from your manager. When using a personal device, try to enforce the same security precautions that are enforced at your workplace. For instance, make sure your software has all recent security patches and your antivirus software is updated. And make sure you follow the same complexity requirements for passwords for your home device as work.

A recent study from PwC stated that 99% of corporate attacks originate from phishing emails. Continue to be diligent with your business email AND your personal email. Clicking on malicious links puts your identity and company data at risk.

Do not download any work documents to your personal computer. Utilize cloud-based software like Google Drive and other solutions to keep any data from being stored on your local computer.

Always create a non-admin account on your computer for every use and work. Only use the administrator account when installing software. This will make it more difficult for a malicious attacker to install unwanted malware on your computer if the interactive user does not have administrator access.

Should I be nervous about others being present for work-related conversations?

Absolutely. Most conversations for work are considered controlled or confidential. Do your best to find a quiet place to work away from other members of your household. Especially when you are having conversations about data or personnel. It is important to respect your employees’ and clients’ privacy.

There are a lot of connectivity apps (ex: Zoom, WhatsApp, House Party) now being used to help people stay connected. Does this cause any concern?

Limit your connectivity app usage to approved applications for business purposes. If you have a question about a specific application, reach out to your corporate IT or security department.

Any other data security suggestions you have for companies to help their employees stay secure?

First, there needs to be a company culture that security is every employee’s job. Arm your employees with knowledge. Continuous dialogue from the security team to educate all employees (including remote users) about new and emerging threats is critical. For instance, there is a massive uptick in malicious websites or phishing emails impersonating legitimate sources using the recent COVID-19 pandemic to entice clicks. People need to know what they are up against to help them make security-minded decisions.


Looking for more COVID-19 resources and information for staffing and recruitment agencies? Go to our resource hub to find the most up-to-date content, government guidance, data, and webinars to keep you informed and to help your staffing firm navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.