Remote Offices of the Future: Protecting Company Data 15 Aug 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a world-altering event. In order to combat the spread of the virus, global lockdowns were put in place, with the UK entering its first on the 23rd of March last year. As a result of these restrictions, businesses needed to close down their premises to help out the cause. Drastic changes, therefore, had to be made for them to survive financially. One such area that has been subsequently overhauled is the working environment.
What sectors were affected here?
Just over one quarter (25.9%) of the UK’s total population has worked from home during the pandemic, more than double the amount during 2019 (12.4%). Furthermore, more ONS statistics show that jobs requiring higher qualifications and experience were more likely to work remotely. For example, around 55.8% of managers, directors and senior officials worked at home along with 56.6% of professional occupations similarly remote working. This highly contrasts process, plant and machine operatives at 7.4% and elementary occupations at 4.4% respectively.
These figures are to be expected, though, as process, plant and machine operatives, as well as elementary occupation jobs, cannot be performed outside of their place of work. On the other hand, most managers, directors, senior officials and professional occupation jobs have the luxury and flexibility of remote working.
For businesses that are shifting over to remote working, company data must be protected.
The importance of protecting company data outside the office.
Any business, big or small, can suffer from a cybersecurity attack. Said attack could be devastating in a number of ways. For starters, the financial risk can be significant enough to cripple the business. Say if a hacker were to breach the security system – they could leak information relating to employees. This could eventually lead to the employer being taken to court for any damages caused. After all, it is the employer’s duty of care to protect their employees from any potential harm. Therefore, ensuring their data is kept secure is critical.
If this were to happen, then the company’s public image would be significantly tarnished. It would firstly show that the company is naive enough not to protect its employees from potential threats. It may even suggest that the company does not care about its employees by not having necessary security measures in place. Avoid this at all costs to protect all involved.
This is all the more apparent considering how internet-dependent remote working roles are. The cloud has been subject to many data breaches, such as Microsoft, Apple, and Yahoo, to name just a few. As can be seen, even the biggest companies are vulnerable. Businesses must do all they can to ensure this does not happen to them. Privacy is a precious commodity nowadays, and the more that can be done to protect it, the better.
So how can businesses continue to protect company data outside the office?
With remote working comes less control on the employer’s end. They have to put complete trust in their employees to deliver results, meaning it can go either way – wondrously or disastrously.
In this transition, a totally different security stance must be taken from the typical centralised one found in offices. Maintaining data security is successful here can be daunting. But with the right set of strategies put in place, any business can start to reap all the benefits associated.
Here are five essential tips to consider:
Update the cybersecurity policy.
Every remote employee must do their part to ensure data is secure. That is why a cybersecurity policy is so important. It will instruct them on how to keep the business’s data safe through step-by-step guides – from threat detection to mitigation. Employ a framework that shows what to do in the event of a possible attack. It should not be complicated. Instead, it should be there to make the situation a lot more clearer for the employee to navigate.
Implement new tools to go along with the policy.
Support employees with VPNs. VPNs can significantly reduce the threat of data breaches. They allow users to browse the internet safely and privately. Once installed, their online activities, IP address, and location are all hidden from view to potential hackers. Along with this should be role-based access, encryption, authorisation and authentication procedures to control who has access to the data. In addition, firewalls, antivirus software and mobile device management can be set up to provide the safest work experience possible.
Control the access of sensitive data.
Employees should only have regular access to data that is needed to complete daily tasks. By limiting access to data, there is much more chance of mitigating damage an employee may potentially cause. As such, it is wise for employees to never use public WiFi while remote working. Advise them to either use VPNs while doing so or work from home to avoid harm.
Provide training where necessary.
By eliminating human error through proper cybersecurity training, the employer will be doing everything they can in their power to protect their data. Some employees may take longer to pick up and master new policies, so make them entirely up to date and informed instead. Evaluations should be carried out to understand if it is necessary to provide more training or not.
Ensure data is completely and utterly protected.
Following all of these tips, it is then key for companies to guarantee cybersecurity through absolute data erasure. The WipeDrive range of products is essential to seeing this step play out successfully. Simply deleting files on devices cannot guarantee the data is removed. WipeDrive is designed to completely erase data using military-grade wiping technology to overwrite the data multiple times using Department-of-Defense-approved wipe patterns. Even the most sophisticated tools cannot recover the data. Sensitive data is, therefore, no problem.
To get comprehensive and effective help for wiping technology completely, find out which WipeDrive product is the perfect solution for your business’s cybersecurity problems. For more information, call us on 0345 340 3105 to speak to our team, or fill out our enquiry form today!