Mitigate the Safety Risks of Remote Work Technology

Mitigate the Safety Risks of Remote Work Technology

By Jasmine Glasheen
July 2020

Coronavirus has created an unprecedented need for remote work technology applications. An April Gallup study found that 63 percent of U.S. adults worked from home in the past week to prevent furthering the outbreak. We can only assume that this percentage has increased as many states face a second round of shutdowns. In the fleet industry, remote work technologies include geofencing to reroute drivers away from areas where someone tested positive for Covid-19, setting up at-home fleet dispatch centers, vehicle telematics to monitor driver behavior--even fleet managers are now communicating in-app so as not to transmit the virus.
Some employees may be anxious and operating on autopilot, which creates the perfect environment for phishers and hackers to steal company data. In a particularly ruthless move, hackers are now sending out phishing emails requesting that employees enter company data under the guise of internal coronavirus policy updates. It’s important to train your team to stay on guard against data safety threats during this turbulent time by establishing a security policy and training your employees to adhere to it.
As a fleet leader, you may not have had to become familiar with remote work security strategies prior to Covid. So here are a few tips to protect your company data while operating remotely.

Be Specific When Communicating Policy

Keep your fleet safe from scammers by designating an official email account or app for your company to use to communicate internal updates during Covid-19. Make it clear that no accounts outside of those you’ve designated will request information from your employees. Set guidelines for which platforms can used to communicate specific information. For instance, you may use OneDrive or a document sharing app for client information, Zoom for meetings, and FaceTime for one-on-one check-ins.
Since regulations are changing daily, it’s also important to provide safety updates on policy changes––you can do this on a daily or weekly basis––what matters is that your communications are consistent. Designate a specific timeframe for managers and drivers to log into their accounts to update themselves on policy as it evolves.

Protect Your Zoom Communications

If you aren’t working in the office, you’ve probably started giving drivers feedback via Zoom meetings or through an online portal. TechCrunch reports that Zoom has already had a 354% growth surge this year. However, the exodus towards online meetings has also brought to light how hackable online platforms can be. When a Zoom meeting is hacked, it’s distracting to your employees; but more importantly, it can compromise sensitive internal data. So, how do you conduct meetings differently when you have sensitive materials? 
There are a few steps you can take to protect your communications on Zoom:

  1. Use a different password for each meeting and only send the password to the employees that will take part in that specific meeting.

  2. Only allow employees with certain emails to join. Zoom allows you to add a list of accepted emails before the meeting.

  3. Disable the meeting recording feature for non-host email addresses (meeting host will still be able to record).

  4. Use an identity authentication platform that’s compatible with Zoom for more secure conversations.

  5. Encrypt Zoom recordings with Endpoint Encryption so outside entities can’t access your private data.


Taking the above steps will substantially increase the security of your video conversations. However, you’ll need to take more intensive security measures when you need to share documents with sensitive client data.

Guard Important Documents by Using Appropriate Channels

Paper documents are quickly becoming a thing of the past – especially in Covid times. Document scanning is quickly becoming the new normal. However, all document sharing platforms aren’t created equally and you need to ensure that employees are using a secure WiFi network when working from home. To do this, mandate that any employee who handles client data installs a firewall on their home network.
It’s also a good idea to designate a file-sharing service for your organization. This can be more secure than email––especially when employees are using their personal email to work remotely. OneDrive has more security options than Google Drive, since Google Drive doesn’t enable you to set passwords. However, there are also a bevy of lesser-known platforms designed specifically for document sharing that offer more advanced security options. 

Use a VPN to Encrypt Data

A VPN, or virtual private network, protects employee data by creating a private internet connection within an unsecure or public network. VPNs can do a few things for your company:

  • Create encrypted connections on public networks

  • Mask your employees’ IP address so hackers can’t see where they’re located

  • Hide your web activity

  • Many VPN solution providers can even protect your employees’ data across multiple devices

The ability to operate across multiple devices is particularly important when sharing data with drivers. Drivers who are on the move may need to access business communications on unsecure networks when staying at hotels, or when working on their phone or iPad from remote locations such as rest stops and eateries. You should also take into account at the security protocols your VPN provider uses and what data limits they offer for different price-points.

Assess Threats Before Making Decisions

Managing your fleet from home shouldn’t mean taking risks with valuable internal data. It does, however, mean that you need to assess the risk of every decision you make. Before you roll out a new solution or policy, ask yourself:

  • How this decision will impact your data security?

  • How will it impact your employees?

  • How will it impact your delivery timeframe?

  • And how will it impact your bottom line?

Assessing these questions takes time, but it’s better to spend time in contemplation on the front end than to deal with the fallout of a data breach.
While the ability to improvise is normally a valuable skill in business, urge employees only to use the platforms you’ve personally vetted for internal communications––even if a platform is lagging or taking more time than usual. By doing this, you’ll be able to keep your company data secure while operating your fleet remotely, so your business can maintain client trust until you’re once again operating at full capacity.
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