In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many essential changes have been made to the way corporate teams function. Most of the businesses have now adopted the remote working culture for their teams in order to manage all the business functions. When you work with a remote team, it is important to ensure that they are organized and managed in the correct way only then they can play the main role in the business success.
Having a well-organized remote team is also beneficial for the startups that cannot launch a physical brick and mortar store right away. If you are looking ahead to work with a remote team, you can hire talent from all over the world to work on a business project. Even the employees working in the remote team get a benefit of having a better work life balance in comparison to the standard teams working in office spaces.
However, most of the companies have concerns when it comes to securing the communication of the remote teams. When your team is spread out at different corners of the world, there is comparatively lesser control on security as compared to the traditional office environment.
Fortunately, there are some proven practices that the organizations can implement for securing the communication of their remote teams:
Establish The Standard Working Procedures
In order to make sure that the security practices of your company don’t get neglected by the remote team while carrying out the daily functions, it is crucial to create policies and standard working procedures. This will be beneficial for the future remote teams as well.
The type of policy or SOP document that you create for your company will differ from the rest of the companies as the procedures will differ from industry to industry. At times, in the same company, the security procedures will have to be amended according to different team roles.
Here are some important tips for formalizing the security policy:
- The aim behind establishing a standard operating procedure or a security policy is to ensure that the remote teams understand the policy perfectly and put it to practice. Therefore, it is important to consider that such a document should be both precise and comprehensive. The remote team members should get all the information that they require for work security, without getting intimidated by extremely lengthy documents.
- When companies create a policy document or a security document, they often fail to consider the real life implications about this document. While establishing your remote team security document, it is important to take feedback about it from different people whom you trust in terms of maintaining the confidentiality of the document. If you can make the necessary improvisations at the draft stage of the document, it will be a lot easier instead of making the changes after the document is put in action.
- Ensure that the security policies that you mention in the document should be appropriate for the people using them. The policies should be easily accessible with easy implementation. The policy should be in the suitable language for all the employees and it should be presented in the right format. For instance, instead of having lengthy documents, you can create short videos about the policies and procedures depending on the requirements of the particular teams.
These tips will help you to establish a profound security and procedures document that ensures clarity and is easy to implement.
Select The Best Communication Tools
It is extremely important to ensure that the tools and practices of the company are in perfect alignment. At times it happens that the remote teams use the standard, default tools that provide the perfect security whereas at times, when you work with a particular tool, it can be too expensive or complicated to use and it becomes important to switch to some other tool.
Therefore, before you select any particular tool for online communication, it is important to research about the various tools available.
What are the important points to be considered before selecting the perfect tool of communication?
- Features – It is important to go through the complete list of the security features provided by the tool that you are considering. It is easy to go with the hype of any particular tool without taking all the security measures of the tool into consideration. It is recommended to list down all the security features that you need so that you get a clear idea about what you are looking for in a particular tool and you will be able to make a better selection.
- Future – When selecting a set of tools for your remote team, it is important to consider the future implications. Don’t just think short-term; you need to take the future implications into consideration as well. Check if the tool that you are planning to use has the right measures implemented for the future.
Matching the tools with the policies and procedures of your company is important.
Configure Your Communication Tools
Only selecting the appropriate working tools for your business isn’t enough, it is also important to configure the tools in the right way. If you have selected the right tool, you will get the benefit of customization and adaptability.
When you finalize the right tool, it is important to make sure that you are not using the tools with default settings. Instead you must make sure that the tool works in a way that meets the requirements of your team in the best possible way.
- Access Levels – Determine proper access levels for all the users and put them in place for your remote team. Different team members might need different levels of access to factors like storage devices, communication channels, email addresses and so on. When you implement proper access levels, it ensures organizational security and helps the team members to give an efficient performance.
- Multi-Factor Authentication – Configure your tools to work with the system of multi-factor authentication. Although this is a good practice to be followed in most of the situations, it might not always be the right thing for your team. You must analyze the benefits of single-factor Vs. multi-factor authentication system in context to the functioning of your remote team.
- Password Policy – On the basis of the particular tools you select, it is ideal to put a password policy in place. Of course it is true that many tools need you to have strong passwords by default. Moreover, if you are utilizing other access method like finger prints or other biometrics, these might be sufficient.
The process of configuring your tools is as important as choosing them for your remote team. Your tools must be configured in a way you want them to. By doing this, you will ensure the smooth functioning of the workflow and the security will be guaranteed as well.
Analyze And Improve
You need to be on the analysis mode even after you have considered all the aspects and deployed a particular tool for the functioning of your remote team. You will always come to know about the improvements you can make and other better communication practices you can implement.
You need to take the following points into consideration in order to foster growth and improvement mindset along with securing the remote communications:
- Team Feedback – Make sure to consistently ask your team members about their thoughts and opinions about the tools that they are using for communication and the security aspect of these tools. You will always get a practical feedback from your team members and you will be able to implement realistic security measures for making the remote communication channels better.
- Learn From Experiences : There are no mistakes, there are just experiences! good or bad ones! Even if you have implemented the best policies, you are using the best tools there can be some things that can go wrong. There is no need for you to be baffled with this, you need to take this experience into consideration and make the right changes.
- Tool Updates – As we all know there are constant changes in the IT world. The tools used by your remote teams will evolve and new versions of these tools will be introduced. It is important to ensure that your tools are properly updated and they are in streamline with your organizational goals. You also need to constantly evaluate the new alternatives of these tools as they are introduced in the market.
Industry Best Practices
Security is an aspect that constantly keeps changing and evolving with time. As a business owner, it is important for you to keep a watchful eye on the actions of the thought-leaders, the industry journals and other important updates. This is a crucial step to ensure that the security policies and practices of your organization are in line with the current best practices of the industry you are operating in.
Whatever you do, make sure that your organization never becomes vulnerable to threats. Keep an eye on the new changes introduced and implement them in the best interest of your remote teams.
Over to you…
Irrespective of whether your team members are operating remotely or in a physical environment, every way of communication has its own pros and cons. In terms of ensuring security, it is true that you need to implement the best practices but don’t get too intimidated with everything. Now that we all are working in an online environment, everyone will learn along the way and your communication channels will get better and better with time.