Cyber-security worries heightened by volume of remote workersadmin
Vaccination numbers across the UK may be gathering pace, but the Office of National Statistics says one in three employees in the country still operates entirely from home. Equally, few believe the future of our working lives will ever be exactly the same as it was pre-pandemic. If we return to the office at all, it seems likely that many organisations will adopt a flexible, hybrid approach.
That has massive implications for those responsible for IT security, whatever the size of the business. During the early days of the first lockdown, phishing scams rose by a massive 600%, according to the National Cyber Security Centre. Other security issues range from passwords stored unsafely offsite to issues with popular communications tools such as Zoom and Teams.
Yet perhaps not everyone is giving this issue enough consideration. A study by law firm Hayes Connor Solicitors, for example, found that a fifth of the nation’s home-based staff had not had any cyber-security training.
At the same time, a massive two-thirds of those who printed potentially sensitive work papers said they binned rather than shredded these documents.
Another piece of research conducted last year discovered that more than half (57%) of those who made decisions regarding IT believed workers based at home could put their employer in danger of a data breach.
And it’s perhaps understandable that, given the speed and extent to which home working had to be introduced, having even basic security measures in place for computers wasn’t always prioritised. Even if workers’ technology was upgraded, security often hasn’t been.
Some simple steps to enhancing security among remote workers
- Make sure your teams use work computers rather than their own
- No one else living with an employee should use their office machine for other activities like shopping or schoolwork, however innocent these may seem
- Set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to have encrypted, secure connections to your business’s servers
- Have the most up-to-date cyber-security software solutions in place
- Train staff to understand the various cyber threats they face on a daily basis
- Tell them not to discuss their work on social media platforms
- If employees need to print out documents, consider supplying them with shredders
- Make sure people know where to report a cyber-security issue, and how to go about doing so
- Update your policies on remote IT usage, and make sure your teams know about and have access to these
- Give employees access only to the data they need in order to do their jobs – and no more
- Update passwords regularly and make sure your employees do the same
With home working likely to be with us at least in part for the foreseeable future, responsibility for cyber security rests with both organisations and their staff, to minimise risks. Make sure teams understand the role they have to play in this, and that you as an employer are doing all you can as well.
How we can help
At Maximum Networks, we specialise in tech, media and telecoms, and have clients of all sizes and from varied industries and sectors. Let us help ensure that your teams are working as securely as possible away from the office, with all the right systems and solutions in place.
Get in touch today for an informal chat to learn more.