Security concerns when remote working

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Security concerns when remote working

As we spoke about previously COVID-19 has forced many businesses out of their comfort zone, forcing many into remote working at a moment’s notice.

In previous blogs, we spoke about why making the transition to remote work is a good idea and how to ensure collaboration and communication when working out of the normal work setting. We will now cover another serious concern for employers nationally, how to ensure that sensitive data is secure when working remotely.


Ensuring Security when working remotely

The first and most important step on the road to data security when working remotely is to establish a cybersecurity policy for your employees to abide by. It may seem amazing that in the modern world we live in, where the average household in the UK has 10.3 internet-connected devices, that somehow some employees are still not aware that data security should be a major concern at both a personal and professional level.

One way to ensure a good foundation of security when working remotely is a policy document. A policy document is a formal, legally binding document outlining responsibilities of the employer and employee, in this case regarding protocols surrounding Cybersecurity. The document should state why the policy exists at all as well as details outlining all the security protocols employees are expected to comply with, what the company will do to support them in compliance with the policy, and a place for a signature from the employee and employer. By having a policy with all employees – remote working or not – it will provide peace of mind that everyone is on the same page and knows what the expectations are.

Another way to ensure a good level of security when working remotely is to make sure all internet connections are secure. Using an unsecured wi-fi network is one of the most common ways to open your company up to a data security breach. The last thing you want to do is forbid employees from working where they feel most energised and motivated but you must be sure that your employees are educated about how to make sure they can keep the company data secure. Requiring employees to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) before signing on to public WI-FI networks will encrypt the internet traffic of the remote worker and monitor for any signs of infection.

All of us prioritise access control in our daily lives, whether that is when locking doors before we go out, or not letting the kids in the sweet cupboard. Even though this is the case many overlook basic access control when it comes to cybersecurity. The use of passwords is a familiar, relatively easy way to protect your data. Teach staff how to keep passwords strong and why it is important to use a different password at every opportunity. Mitigate the risk of data theft and loss by using a password manager that can randomly generate passwords for you and provides a safe place to store them. This stops the problem of employees forgetting their passwords for all the different programmes they may use whilst keeping data secure and uncompromised.

Another way to ensure security is by using two-factor authentication, the method confirms identity by username, password, and another piece of information, that can be a secret question or more commonly a PIN sent to a mobile device. Passwords are often hacked but two-factor authentication lowers the chances of this because the probability of someone having the answer to your secret question is unlikely, and if you have the Pin sent to your mobile device even more unlikely the Pin.

If the business wants to go the extra mile with authentication protocols, they could move to a multi-factor authentication system. Options could include retina, voice, or fingerprint recognition systems, this is more expensive but may be necessary depending upon your security needs.

With these security tips, your business can take the plunge into the modern world of remote working. You can sleep soundly knowing that your business is cyber secure.


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Simon Tonks

Owner and MD of Synium who loves his job, his life and the wondrous outdoors - especially when on a bike of any kind (but preferably on a mountain bike going downhill fast).Please get in touch if there is anything IT related I can help you with (or if you want to talk bikes :-)