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07:30 AM
Curtis Franklin Jr.
Curtis Franklin Jr.
Edge Articles

Keys for a Safe Return to the Post-Quarantine Office

Security teams will need to keep these important considerations in mind as employees make their way back to the workplace.

Employee Behavior Will be Relaxed
Addressing laid-back employee behavior will likely begin at a physical level.

"If and when people come back to the office, they will need to get a few things back in order from a security perspective," says James McQuiggan, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4. "At home, they've been relaxed, wearing sweats and being casual. Back in the office, they will have to start using their access badge to gain entry into the building, and they will need to bring that with them every day." 

Just as social behavior will have to readjust to office realities, computer use behavior will need to go through a period of re-education and readjustment before office behavior looks anything like it did in mid-December.

Lock Screens Must be Reinforced
At home, where everyone is (generally) trustworthy, we have no trouble stepping away from our computers for a sandwich or bio-break.

"What happens when you get up and leave your computer in the office? Do you lock the workstation, or is it always unlocked, available for anyone to come by and access?" McQuiggan asks. "There could be more workstations left unlocked [at the office] with people stepping away and forgetting they're not at home and that they need to secure their workstations."

When workers were first sent home, the "big fear" was that they wouldn't follow cybersecurity best practices from those safe confines – a basic concept known as risk homeostasis, says Tom Pendergast, chief learning officer at MediaPro. Increased security from home offices may actually be a vulnerability when employees go back to the office.

"So the big effort has been to get employees to manage their home cybersecurity more closely. Ideally, this means employees grew more vigilant about risk," he says. "But we may have to reteach employees which elements of cybersecurity they are responsible for. In other words, we may have to combat reverse risk homeostasis."

Next page: What to do with newly acquired medical data

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Analyst at Omdia, focusing on enterprise security management. Curtis has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He has been on staff and contributed to technology-industry publications ... View Full Bio
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User Rank: Ninja
7/20/2020 | 1:09:57 PM
Considering the numbers are still rising for states that are deciding to prematurely re-open, I'm hoping post-quarantine refers to a time period when a vaccine exists.
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