How to Keep Client Data Secure With Remote Project Management Teams

By
Frankie Wallace avatar
on August 15#best-practices
How to Keep Client Data Secure With Remote Project Management Teams

If there is any aspect of the business world that needs to be protected, it would be the many project management teams that help our companies to grow and evolve. There is a lot of corporate and customer data that is spread around when launching a major project, and the security of that information is essential if you want to protect your company and your clients.

Luckily, there are many ways that you can secure your enterprise and all of the data within. It just takes a bit of training, some common-sense measures, and a management team that can protect the tech to keep concerns to a minimum. Let’s talk about how to make your project a success without fear of putting the company at risk.

Start With Proper Employee Training

The first thing that management needs to do is to educate their teams on the importance of cybersecurity and why it is essential that they are always watchful of potential problems. If your company or project management team is found to be at fault for letting the potential for a cyber breach fall through the cracks, then your clients could lose faith in your organization and choose to do business elsewhere.

That is bad news because, in addition to completing your projects on time, you also need to improve client satisfaction. You can do that by setting and meeting expectations, acting on negative reviews, and ensuring that their data is protected so they know they can trust your organization.

Whenever a new employee is brought onboard, they should go through an orientation that includes teaching them about common cybersecurity threats, including malware, phishing scams, and ransomware, and how to avoid them. That training should also include basic protections like running antivirus software and locking devices. Once an employee has been trained, have them sign off on a form that expresses their understanding of the instruction. This form could also be used in court if you ever discover that an employee allowed a breach on purpose.

Management should also have an open door policy and create a step-by-step process for how an employee can report suspicious behavior or a potential cyber threat as soon as they spot it in order to prevent additional harm.

Protect the Places Where Data Is Stored

Next, it is important that everyone in the organization understands all of the places where client and corporate data is stored. This way, they know what to protect and where to use caution. It is also important to know where customer data should never be found. For instance, when adding information to a corporate knowledge base for project management, remember not to enter any personal information that could leak in the event of a data breach. Also, employees should be restricted from sending their work home to a personal device.

Also, while many of us believe that sensitive client data is only stored in computers and hard drives, there is actually a slew of other pieces of office equipment that contain private storage media. For example, printers and fax machines store information so that they can process jobs quicker without unnecessary lag. Some of these devices even have their own hard drive where information is stored, and if a hacker was able to gain access, then it could be bad news for your clients.

In many cases, a project management team is only as successful as the software they use to complete a job from point A to B. By using a secure project management tool, like ClickUp or Monday.com, you can ensure that all tasks will be visible and completed on time. In addition, many of these programs upload your information to the cloud, which is good for protecting data. Most cloud companies will have their own security team in place to catch potential threats before they become an issue, so you know that you are in good hands.

No matter what program employees have installed on their devices, they should have them all secured with a good password that includes a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Combine that password with a form of two-factor authentication, such as a fingerprint or eye scan that cannot be easily duplicated. These passwords should be updated and changed every few months.

Protections When Working Outside of the Office

With remote or hybrid team management, there is an expectation that some employees will work outside of the office. While that may be an acceptable policy, security is key when out and about. To start, management should implement an access control system where a record is kept of when employees are logged into their computers or mobile devices. This way, it can be determined if any suspicious activity is occurring after hours. On top of that, instead of giving blanket access, management must also ensure that employees only have access to the systems that are necessary to do their work. If they can’t get into private areas, then it will make it harder for hackers to do the same.

Management should also be careful when allowing employees to bring their own devices to work that can be easily stolen or lost. If they are out in a public place and they leave their device unattended for even a moment, a hacker can quickly take it and be gone in a flash. Once they have it, they can steal the data that is stored on that device and also use the credentials on it to access the other corporate systems. If you do allow a BYOD policy, at least have the device encrypted so the data cannot be read or used maliciously, even if a hacker gets into it.

Finally, educate your team on the dangers of using public Wi-Fi. A common scheme used by hackers is to create a fake network in a restaurant or coffee shop that looks legitimate and may even be advertised as free to lure in a potential victim. However, when the employee connects, they are really connecting to the hacker’s device, and from there, the hacker can have full control. To prevent this issue, all employees should ask an associate at the restaurant for the real network if they must connect for work.

As you can see, there are many considerations and safety precautions to take when managing a remote project management team. Consider these tips and tactics, and your staff will be able to complete their work without fear of a breach.

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