Practice Cyber Hygiene in Your Home Office

Many PR pros, like those in other sectors, will consider home their office next week as the virus spreads. If that's your plan, the time is now to think about protecting laptops staff use in their home offices, cyber experts say.

One role for communicators is to push messages about the importance of practicing good cyber hygiene.

Rokk Solutions, a bipartisan PR firm in Washington, D.C., recommends starting the hygiene lessons with a series of internal communications to employees outlining the basics of work-from-home security. These include:

  • Remote workers should have access to a virtual private network (VPN)
  • Two-factor or multi-factor authentication should be enabled for all devices and accounts
  • Advise employees to secure their at-home Internet connection and turn off and unplug work devices when not in use
  • Alert employees to possible email scams
  • Remain up-to-date on all security patches
  • Don’t mix work and personal devices
PR firms, says Kaylin Trychon, VP, at Rokk Solutions, should anticipate an increase in IT-related support issues when staff work from home. To prepare, PR pros should work closely with IT to identify a strategy that helps IT communicate its needs and response times to employees.
In the end, Trychon says, it’s essential that organizations not overlook the importance of cybersecurity. "The last thing you need during a pandemic is backlash over a data breach, which can cause reputation problems for even the most robust organization."
Another tip, experts say, is for PR pros to relay messages about organizing a practice run. Have most employees work from home right away to see how your remote systems perform, they advise. A post-mortem after the practice run to analyze results is crucial, cyber experts say.
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