The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented work from home (WFH) situation that brings its own set of unique risks. This post is not about those; there is plenty of information available on the internet regarding WFH risks that I won’t repeat except to say if you haven’t secured your users through technology and policies/processes do so ASAP. Scammers are heavily leveraging the pandemic’s opportunity for panic and guard-dropping.

This post is about opportunity.

I, like most of you, spent some time away from the office, working from home, during the shutdown. I missed the interaction of the office environment, but I knew it would not be a lasting situation. A few weeks back to the office and things are feeling normal, yet, somehow, not. Something has changed, and I’ve struggled to figure out what it is.

I lead a complicated life, seemingly having my hands in many projects at once. I guess that’s why I became an entrepreneur; I had inspiration to help small and midsized businesses and a vision of how to get there. As time has gone on, I’ve added to my plate, and added, and added.

Then everything stopped.

At first, work kept me busy. I buried myself into the tasks of the day as I would any other day, just from my basement office. But soon I began to tinker with things there, for example installing a new LED light system at ridiculously low cost, thereby eliminating the incandescent bulbs of the past decade. I expanded the gym corner, ordering a new weight bench to go with the old Gold’s Gym weight plates and bars from thirty years ago. I cleaned. I went through boxes.

And I threw away a lot.

Working from home for two months had its challenges but also its blessings. One was to rediscover what items stored in the basement bought me joy and what didn’t anymore. I unburdened myself of the excessive stuff that was taking up space, and discovered new space for new opportunities. I filled some of that space with a smart trainer for my road bike. Zwift – who knew? I love that app.

What does this have to do with small business security? Nothing on the surface, but beneath the concept is the same, an opportunity from a pause. If possible, take this time to think about the information your organization is keeping. Does it bring joy, rather does it make business sense to keep, or is it just clutter, whether physical or virtual?

The more information we keep, the more we have to protect. Just as unloading physical items that no longer brought me joy freed me to pursue other opportunities, perhaps unloading information your company no longer needs (be honest with yourself, is email from 2000 necessary to keep?) is an opportunity to redirect scarce security resources elsewhere.