So, your laptops are dispersed, remote access is up and running, phone lines redirected… time to see how this “work from home thing” goes! These are all important steps, but how will you know that your information is safe when users are literally walking out the door with it? Are you even positive what data and files the users took with them when they left their offices and cubes?

Here are few things to keep in mind as we take the first steps into auditing where your data resides after move out day.

1. Who has taken the data home?
Depending on your in-office security practices and the nature of their work, there’s a good chance that employees panicked and took a good deal of data home with them. It’s going to be important to track what data people have on their laptops or attached storage. Maybe it’s too late to get it back but knowing where it exists allows you to monitor how it’s being used and protect it from loss until users can bring it back on-network.

2. Are users communicating safely?
If your organization is highly interconnected, it’s vital to monitor how employees are communicating and transmitting data when they are off-network, away from peers, and possibly uncomfortable with best practices. Monitoring and/or blocking access to unsecured methods like personal email, unapproved cloud services (personal Dropboxes, OneDrives, etc), and chat services can prevent accidental disclosures and spread of data. In addition, checking approved communications methods like company email and shared drive to ensure they’re being used correctly cannot be overlooked.

3. What about hard copies?
Work must go on and if the printer isn’t down the hall anymore, users will likely be printing to home printers or virtual printers. When it comes to highly sensitive information or proprietary data, tracking offsite prints is an often overlooked “loophole” in work-from-home scenarios. Having the means to audit and control hard copy data will become more important as the data is not held onsite.

At innerActiv we realize that tackling these, and many other, challenges of offsite data usage can be a major hurdle and are ready to assist you in tracking your data wherever it moves!