As with many things in life over the last 12 months, everyone’s idea of the workplace has shifted and evolved. With the unprecedented and, in some cases irreversible rise of home working, many of our traditional office habits and practices have vanished to be replaced by much more ‘homely’ versions.
Global organisations from Apple to Google, Amazon to Microsoft, as well as banks, insurance companies and governmental departments have mandated home working for many thousands of employees, creating a much-changed work-life balance.
One thing that remains the same, though, is every business’s reliance on its IT infrastructure and the data it carries. These capabilities have been stretched and overloaded as domestic offices have sprung up in flats and houses around the world.
Managers have asked a myriad of questions in their efforts to safely and efficiently navigate uncharted business waters: What types of functions are suitable for remote working? What remote access methods should be used? Are our passwords strong enough? Are passwords alone enough? What devices should be used to access corporate data remotely?
However, amidst the storm of newly important priorities, the one thing that can – but unquestionably should not – be overlooked, is the risk that remote workers can pose to your data security without even knowing it.
With the current levels of governance and assurance surrounding the protection of data, organisations must ensure that the corporate security boundary extends to the home. There is no place for ignorance or apathy when dealing with critical personal or corporate data assets.Joel Sweeney Director
Security starts with people
Recent research by Norwegian mobile security firm Promon found that 66% of remote workers in the UK had received no cyber security training from their employers in the past 12 months.
Even more worrying was that 77% of them claimed to have ‘no worries’ about security while working from home, with 61% admitting they had used personal devices for business purposes while based out of the office.
This attitude seems somewhat at odds with the fact that malicious attacks have been on the rise all over Europe.
Small and medium-sized enterprises may be among the easiest targets for cyber criminals, but any size of organisation is potentially at risk.
Open to attack
The past 12 months have resulted in workers spending much more time online, without proper supervision, and this fact has not gone unnoticed. Cyber criminals have been launching specific Covid-related phishing campaigns that prey on the all-too-human vulnerabilities of sometimes isolated home workers. Falling for these can result in the installation of ransomware or the gaining of access to individual computers.
You may assume that your staff would think twice before downloading an innocent looking HMRC email or suchlike, but if they have slipped into the kind of false sense of security highlighted above, it could take just one simple error of judgement before vital information is harvested.
Don’t leave room for error
While cyber criminals pose an increasing threat to businesses, so do employees who are left without sufficient training. It is up to every business leader to make sure that their teams are working in secure environments with properly protected corporate or personal devices, and that they are given proper instruction on what to look out for in order to protect your company’s data.
From senior managers down, all must understand that cyber attacks are inevitable, they are happening all the time and that your company is no exception to the rule.
Xpertex offers SD-Home protection
Every business that holds valuable and sensitive data must now be asking itself, “are we doing enough to protect our home workers and the data they process on behalf of the business?”
One way to ensure this is through the use of Xpertex SD-Home, a software-defined cyber technology that allows information security compliance and IT to control and manage your company’s entire home-working network from one place.
Effectively incorporating all units of your business into one extended enterprise – from head office through regional branches and down to home offices – means both staff and management can rest assured that they are being properly protected from cyber risk.
What’s more, if your people feel safe then your clients can rely on receiving the same high-quality service and assurance, they have come to expect from you.
Safeguard your data now To find out more about how Xpertex can help you to meet your company’s governance and IT security obligations, call +44 2030 210 749