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COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work. Following government measures, organisations of all sizes are instituting remote workforces.

Moving your colleagues, their computers, and their data from a secure office environment to their home — with minimal notice — can present data security risks, from simple technical glitches to accidental human error, and malicious ransomware attacks.

There are a number of steps that your business and your IT provider (whether in-house or outsourced) should be taking to ensure a smooth and secure transition to a successful remote office set-up:

1. Secure Infrastructure
Your technology infrastructure should be based on strong security protocols – speak with your IT administrator or outsourced IT company about this.

2. Secure Employee Laptops
A laptop and device strategy should be devised to ensure staff aren’t potentially utilising less secure personal devices for work such as home desktops. All devices should be secured with appropriate endpoint protection measures installed, and a strong VPN solution for a secure connection to the company network.

If you or your staff have to use a home computer to access work, you need to ensure it is adequately protected.

3. Protect Critical Business Data

Your organisation should be set up with a company-wide policy that automatically saves documents and data to Google’s G Suite or Microsoft O365. Because the data retention policy for these services is typically just 30 days, a backup solution should be sourced to match the frequency and importance of your data.
It’s important to find a backup solution that ensures full restoration is quick and easy – take a look at our page on disaster recovery.

4. Secure the Network

All laptops (and your entire network) should be secure – your IT provider should have tech in place that consistently scans for viruses and ransomware as well as suspicious connections to and from your company.

Heads up: Cybercriminals will ramp up their exploit activities with the trend of working from home. Make sure your IT is ready to protect you!
5. Utilise Access to Your Help Desk

Your IT helpdesk is there to answer any questions, troubleshoot problems and facilitate solutions - so let them know if you have any concerns or issues!
6. Communicate

Get in touch with your IT provider to discuss the best company-wide communications tools for instant messaging, video conferencing, and telephony. These tools ensure employees can stay productive, be social, and continue collaboration while still keeping the business secure.

To keep data safe, remember to emphasise the following checklist to employees whilst they’re working from home:
  • Ensure they create strong, unique passwords for each account and change them regularly.
  • Have your employees secure their home router by changing the default router password and set their encryption to WPA2 or WPA3 (whichever is highest), restrict inbound and outbound traffic, and switch off WPS.
  • On any devices where backups are not managed, have them back up laptops to the cloud.
  • If they work in a public location, have them be mindful of physical security - use a privacy screen for their laptop, and use the company VPN when using the public WiFi.
Make sure your remote workforce is efficient, productive and, most importantly, secure. If we can help with this in any way, or you just have some questions, please get in touch - we’re here to help in any way we can.

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