Remote working is a standard practice amongst businesses today. The accelerated transition to hybrid working during the pandemic has led to a greater reliance on digital services. However, it has also incentivised organised crime groups towards cyber crimes.
The latest crime survey estimating that cyber crimes have increased significantly between 2019 and 2021 during COVID because of remote working.
Now is a good time to check that your long-term cyber security arrangements are up to scratch for remote working. This means:
Employees working from home should understand the steps they should take to keep their business' data secure (processes).
Business owners should have certain measures in place to keep their business systems secure (controls).
Twelve months ago, businesses excelled in rapidly setting up remote working arrangements. However, long-term cyber security considerations weren't necessarily made while ramping up remote working. Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your cyber security policy and controls.
Many of these considerations do not need huge amounts of investment, it's just as much about instilling a good cyber security culture into your business.
remote working cyber security tips
Here are seven considerations when evaluating your security policies and technology solutions:
Dedicated work devices; laptop or phone
Do you provide employees with equipment or do they use their own? Ideally employers should provide dedicated work devices – this enables you to take control of the device; what is installed and how it is set up. It can then allow you to remove access to your IT infrastructure if it is stolen or the employee hands in their notice. Employees using their own devices for work has its own set of security guidelines.
Do your employees use passwords more than once? Do you use two-factor authentication as an extra barrier?
Are employees aware of WFH security precautions?
Do your employees allow family members to use work devices? They shouldn’t! You may need to update your security policy or provide your staff with training on remote working cyber security and best practise.
Do you activate passwords when arranging and holding meetings?
Are your employees using a VPN while remote working? Have you checked?
Could your team members fall for a scam?
Imagine an email posing to be from your business’ HR asking to confirm sensitive data. Would your team respond or click on a spam link? You may have to wait 200+ days to find out that your IT infrastructure has been compromised – the average time it takes to spot a cyber-attack. Your team may need training to approach all emails and invites with precaution.
Have you found safe cloud computing solutions for a long-term and secure solution? Cloud servers, cloud telephone systems and monthly SaaS subscriptions - there are many technology solutions available that enable collaborative and secure working.
Benefits of remote working
Employers and employees are seeking a long-term flexible home-office arrangement. Both employees and employers have found benefits from working from home, namely: