New Employee Technology Training for a WFH Environment

Do you have more work-from-home (WFH) employees now than you did last year around this time? For many Rhode Island businesses, the answer is, "Yes."

The pandemic has changed the way that companies think about remote workers. And while they may have had no choice during lockdowns but to use WFH employees, businesses have seen the cost and productivity benefits and many are planning to keep them. 77% of surveyed companies said that post-pandemic, they will have more employees working from home three or more days per week. One of the unforeseen challenges of transitioning to a remote work environment is the lack of 1-on-1 training with new employees. In order to work remotely, many users are forced to use technologies and apps that they may not be familiar with or have not used at their previous place of employment. The new WFH environment means that companies need to update their new employee cybersecurity and technology training to adopt to the new remote work environment. Not only do employees need to learn new remote working protocols that they may not have had in office before, they also will need more extensive training. This is because employees won’t be under the protection of the office firewall and will have to be responsible for things like Wi-Fi and device security in the home environment.

What You Should Include in Remote Employee IT Training

New employee technology training for WFH staff will be a mix of best practices that are taught to everyone (like password security) and new remote work security (like safety of IoT devices). Here are important training topics to cover to ensure your WFH employees are well prepared.

Password Protection

80% of data breaches in 2019 were caused by compromised passwords. Employees need to ensure they follow best practices for secure passwords, no matter where they’re working from. Password protection best practices include:

  • Creating strong passwords with a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers
  • Not reusing passwords
  • Using a password manager to securely store passwords
  • Implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) with all logins

MFA is 99.9% effective at stopping account compromise.

Use a Guest Network for Work Devices

There can be several less secure devices connected to a home network that can put work devices at risk. These include things like a doorbell camera, children’s electronics, and older home computers or laptops that might not be updated. Employees can reduce the risk to work data by setting up a guest network on their router and then putting only work-related devices on that network. This keeps them separated from all other home internet devices.

Device Security

Some WFH employees are using their own personal computers for work and some are using company-issued PCs. No matter which they are using, that devices needs some basic protections that are cybersecurity standards. Device security includes:

  • Antivirus/Anti-malware
  • All updates should be applied in a timely manner (OS, application, firmware)
  • Devices should have screen locks that come on when the PC is unattended

One way that companies can take the responsibility of updates off their WFH employees’ shoulders is to use managed IT services that can keep those remote PCs updated automatically.

Office "Clock-in/out" Protocols

When employees are all working at the same office, it’s easy to know when someone arrives and when they’re at lunch. When employees are working remotely, you need to rely on other ways to keep everyone informed. Train new employees on your protocols for using team collaboration applications and messaging apps (e.g. Microsoft Teams), so they’ll understand how to use presence indicators, if they’re expected to message their manager when they’re at their desk, etc.

How to Avoid Phishing Emails

Phishing is the main delivery method for malware. Employees can often get fooled by phishing scams, especially if they don’t have a co-worker next to them to ask for a second opinion. Train employees on how to spot phishing emails:

  • Hover over links without clicking
  • Look for any slight misspellings or grammar errors
  • View source code on emails to see the real sender

Where to Get Tech Support Help

When an employee has a technology issue, they can’t just go down the hall to an IT department if they’re working remotely. However, they can get help fast using remote support. Let your employees know how to get tech support when they need it so they’re not struggling with an issue instead of being able to work. A majority of software and computer issues can be handled by remote support, so your WFH team can easily have the help they need to stay productive.

Cloud Use Policies

One of the dangers when employees work remotely is that they’ll start using cloud apps that aren’t approved officially by their company. This is called Shadow IT and it can leave business data at risk because those applications are typically outside a company’s cloud security strategy. You should train employees on your cloud security policies and let them know what applications they can and cannot use. Also let them know how to properly suggest an app they think may be beneficial.

Keep Remote Workers Secure with Help from Onsite Techs of Rhode Island

We can help you put an IT support strategy in place that extends your office protections out to your WFH team. Contact us today to set up a WFH security consultation at 401-415-6290 or reach out online.