In April 2020, a survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that over 45% of people in employment in the UK were now working from home and more than 85% of those were doing so because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the upside, today’s technology makes working from home possible. The downside is that the same technology is increasingly vulnerable to cyberattack when used remotely. So what can be done to protect UK businesses, their technology and their remote workers during the pandemic and lockdowns?
We asked the WFH IT Support team – part of an award and accolade-winning technology company, totality services – who are specialists in delivering IT support for businesses with people working from home for guidance.
They provide clients with expert, experienced service and advice to help keep their remote working people, technology and data safe and secure and they recommended adopting a three-tier approach.
Have the right solutions in place
Without face-to-face interaction, your remote workers need systems that empower them to simply and securely collaborate.
Integrated subscription and Cloud-based platforms like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite), which include Microsoft Teams and Google Meet respectively, enable your people to meet, work on shared files and access all the usual popular apps on an ‘anyone, anywhere, any device’ basis. And that’s without any of the usual expensive hardware such as servers or network technology like virtual private networks (VPNs) in place.
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Review IT security and deploy the right measures
Protecting your IT infrastructure, data, IP, customer confidential information, compliance and hard-earned reputation is crucial for any organisation with remote workers.
So, the team at WFH IT support recommend undertaking the following:
- Implement 2-step authentication to prevent hacking
- Regularly back-up all data to a third-party provider,
- Set company-wide protections such as enforced password changes and screen locks
- Deploy Domain Name System (DNS) protection to give your people an additional layer of security when using the internet
- Hard disk encryption
Avoid the most common cybersecurity errors
It’s unwise to allow your team to use their own devices to access and sync business data or set up personal accounts with services like Zoom or WhatsApp to communicate with colleagues or customers.
If any of those devices are lost, stolen, or sold, or if an employee leaves the business, you’ve no control over what happens to the business data, information or contacts they’ve accessed.
By only deploying secure and company-authorised solutions like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, you can prescribe conditional access and usage rules to protect your people and your enterprise.
What’s more, by utilising these platforms, you can securely boost your team’s productivity.
Written by Luis Navarro and Pedro Martins at WFH IT Support