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How to manage a remote workforce & protect your employees and business from Cyber Security threats

During the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, most small and medium sized businesses are continuing to get their employees setup to work remotely. However, given how quickly this pandemic has reached us, some businesses may not be completely ready for the switch to remote working which could in itself leave your business open to a cyber attack. 

You will find that most businesses have company-owned and managed devices along with watertight security defences to keep remote access secure. It has only been highlighted recently but some smaller businesses may not have required remote working or haven’t had the chance to implement this type of infrastructure to allow it. However, it is important to note that this doesn’t have to be the case as any business can take the necessary steps to improve their information security straight away. 

In order to achieve this and to get the ball rolling, we would suggest that your business starts with the below steps to ensure that your shift towards remote working is as smooth as possible: 

  • In an ideal world, make sure that your employees are only using company-issued or approved devices to allow them to securely access company resources and data. Otherwise your employees may use their own personal devices which can’t be easily controlled as well as compromising on security it also can compromise your position under GDPR legislation etc. 
  • To this end for company devices it may be useful to not allow personal emails at all. 
  • It is important that all devices used outside the business have the latest security solutions such as antivirus, anti-malware & email security and adhere to regular software updates. 
  • It is important to make sure that all data is encrypted, whether in transit or at rest. Given that employees working from home will be on less secure networks, it is worth considering implementing a Virtual Private Network with multi-factor authentication to secure all of these connections. 
  • If some of your employees are using personal devices for business, it is crucial to outline exactly how they can improve their security settings and firewalls such as how to create a strong password. 

Also when working from home your employees need to be more vigilant as well following best practice. The following guidelines can help your business to protect sensitive data: 

  • Employees should keep electronic work documents only on company systems or company issued devices. 
  • Ensure that your device has an automatic lockout feature when inactive for a certain period of time. 
  • Make sure that you don’t leave sensitive information lying around either on paper or on your screen. 
  • Encourage caution before clicking on links or attachments contained within emails. Even if you feel that the sender is legitimate, if you doubt this then be sure to report it to your dedicated Managed Service team. 

Next Steps? 

If you are looking to get your business setup for remote working or need additional help with your security then please call our IT experts on 020 3004 4600 or fill in our online contact form. 

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