We’re all getting used to the ways in which COVID has changed our working lives. Dealing with restless children, tolerating loud roommates, Zoom fatigue, spouse fatigue, eating the same lunch again fatigue – the list goes on. These challenges are painfully present, but cybersecurity vulnerabilities, while closer to the bottom of your day-to-day worry list, can be disastrous.
As well as the environment and Jeff Bezos, the pandemic has also been great for cybercriminals. Attackers have a wealth of new gaps in security to exploit as employees access sensitive data and information on personal devices, and digital infrastructure struggles to keep up with the spike in decentralised working. How can print businesses make sure they are doing all they can to reduce the risk of a security breach?
First of all, take a good hard look at your processes. How is the integrity of your data maintained? What are your policies and guidelines for employees using their own devices and networks for work purposes? How are you educating employees on keeping devices and information secure? Industry 4.0 means print software and equipment connects and talks to other software and equipment, artificial intelligence can be used to monitor and analyse jobs, more data can be handled thanks to cloud-based solutions, and much more. However, this needs to go hand-in-hand with regular evaluations of strength and security, particularly as more people working from home will become increasingly common long-term.
You’ve assessed – is everything perfect? If so good for you, stop reading and go about your day feeling smugly secure. For everyone else, the likelihood is there are one or two areas that could be better. When it comes to investing in and implementing improvements, a 360° approach is useful. Don’t just look at cybersecurity, but rather how your processes could be more secure as well as being relevant to customer needs, such as providing a more personalised service using cleaner, high-quality, and safeguarded data. Improving employee ‘security hygiene’ and cyber safety knowledge, and supporting them in conforming to policies while working remotely, will also be a boost for business efficiency and customer service.
The end of the pandemic won’t see the world return to the way it was in 2019. Businesses will continue to transition to remote working arrangements, whether it’s more roles becoming predominantly home-based, hybrid models of dividing time between offices and remote working, and probably a number of other ways that we now know are possible having been forced to make that transition due to COVID. This means short-term thinking won’t cut it – invest in solutions, processes, technology, and education with longevity, that will help your print businesses meet changing demands whether they are caused by the pandemic or not.
Karis Copp is a UK-based writer, journalist, and communications expert. With a background as an editor and public relations specialist in the print industry, she now works on a freelance basis covering events, writing on industry news and trends, and working with businesses to help them tell their stories and connect with their customers. Follow her on Twitter @KarisCoppMedia.