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How Can You Ensure Your Data Is Safe When Your Staff Are Working From Home?
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a huge shift towards home working in a range of traditionally office-based sectors. This has enabled many businesses to survive and thrive during lockdown, but remote working can also cause major problems for businesses in terms of security breaches and data losses. Let's examine some of the IT-related risks of employees working from home and discuss what you can do make sure that your confidential information is safe.
Working From Home – What Issues Can It Cause?
Business IT systems are designed to be ultra-secure within the office. However, when your employees are working remotely, they may not have the same level of protection available to them. They will access your systems using their own Wi-Fi, which may be less secure than a business-grade system. The employee could also be using a range of devices on the same connection, including personal smartphones, laptops, and tablets, some of which may not have the latest anti-virus software and firewalls installed.
If your staff aren't cyber security aware and their devices aren't protected, your data could be compromised as the result of:
- Malware installation – An employee could download an attachment or visit a website that contains malicious code, allowing criminals to access your IT systems or data.
- Ransomware attacks – Hackers could install malicious software on a device, shutting it down and demanding that a ransom is paid. The ransomware could then spread to their colleagues' devices through shared files, disrupting your operations.
- Password attacks – Cyber criminals can obtain passwords using an array of means, including lucky (for them) guesswork and keyboard mapping. If they are successful, they could steal your company's data.
- Other phishing scams – Employees in possession of financial information, such as your company credit card or banking details, could be tricked into handing this data over to criminals, e.g. by imitating a legitimate supplier.
It's not just illegal activity that you need to worry about either. When your employees work from home, they may forget to back up their data regularly or accidentally delete key files, resulting in data loss.
Protecting Your Data – Essential Steps To Take
Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to protect your data, including:
- Train staff so they know how to keep their devices and Wi-Fi secure and spot potential cyber-attacks.
- Check your cyber security processes and systems regularly to ensure that they are resilient and meet all of your employees' needs.
- Learn about data backup and recovery in cloud computing, and ensure that you have cloud data backup in addition to backing up your data in other locations. Using the cloud will also make it simpler for your staff to access your data safely from all of their devices.
- Make sure you have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place.
Finally, consider working with a specialist IT management company, such as Fuse. Our cyber security and data loss prevention specialists can work with you to find solutions that will meet your company's specific needs. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Image source: Pixabay
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