The changes thrust upon businesses by COVID-19 has resulted in many adapting quickly to new remote working requirements.  While some sectors are now preparing to return to work the best they can, office-based businesses are being asked to continue remote working a little longer.

Creating a safe workplace for both customers and staff is critical to restarting the UK economy.

With many companies opting to make remote working a longer-term solution, how can you make sure your business is protected away from the office?

Preparing your staff long term for remote working

Bring your own device (BYOD) to work has been around since the mid-2000s, the advance in technology means we have been adapting the way we work for some time.

There are many advantages to BYOD giving employees more flexibility, productivity increases and costs can be reduced.

However, the disadvantages could leave some businesses exposed. Security issues are the biggest threat to BYOD.

With a strong focus on how businesses store and process personal data, the heavy fines under the new legislation from the GDPR must be taken seriously.

BYOD

SECURITY CHECKLIST – HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER

Although working from home has been adopted by many, there are still businesses who have not yet migrated to the Cloud. They rely on internal servers to connect networks and exchange mailboxes to run their day to day duties. So when “lockdown” descended, it was all hands on deck to keep teams working. We’re confident the key questions initially asked were:

  • Can employees work from home?
  • Does everyone have access to the internet and a computer at home?
  • “Lockdown” is only for a few weeks – we can do this!

The reality is, although lockdown may ease, social distancing is here to stay a little longer.

Our security checklist will help guide you on keeping your business, and staff secure online while working remotely.

THE BASICS

  • Staff are aware that the policies that apply in the office – also apply at home when it comes to processing and storing personal data.
  • Do staff have a good enough bandwidth on their Internet connection?
  • Have a designated workspace at home.
  • All software such as operating systems, video conferencing apps and chat software are up to date with the latest versions.
  • When using VPN (virtual private network) or remote access to office networks – look for reliability as well as security.
  • Use multi-factor authentication where ever you can.

NETWORK ACCESS & SECURITY

  • Always use the company VPN when accessing network files. Read more about setting your team up remotely here.
  • Using a Corporate cloud storage solution lets staff access files securely from anywhere. With business offerings from Google, Dropbox and many more, it’s worth considering other options like OneDrive and Egnyte which offer enhanced features and better control of shared files.
  • If employees are using a personal computer to access a company VPN, you need to make them aware that additional security scans may need to take place.
  • Keep devices secure by using anti-virus software that continually scans for threats and malware.

CLOUD BACKUP & DATA RECOVERY

  • If you dropped your laptop and it broke – can you get access to your files?
  • Ensure backups happen daily, whether to the cloud or an external secured device.
  • Did you know that Microsoft 365 default retention is only 30 days! You need to back up your Microsoft 365 email too.
Learn more about securing your systems

ALWAYS DEMONSTRATE BEST PRACTICE

Stay alert! When using 3rd party applications security should be at the forefront of your mind. There have been regular news articles questioning how safe video conferencing software is – commonly known as “bombing” both Zoom and Microsoft Teams have fallen victim to scrutiny over some security flaws.

Following best practice and using password-protected meetings, waiting room features and other advice on how to stay safe online both for professional and personal use is key.


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Post by Sooz Kinsella

Sooz has worked at the core of innovation in software technology for over 20 years. Her passion lies in delivering great customer journeys and automating processes.