How to work from home securely

How to work from home securely

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the UK has seen a dramatic shift in how its office-based workforce operates. With the office workforce being instructed by the UK government to work from home if they are able to.

A study conducted by the Institute of Directors strongly suggests that the new working from home culture could be here to stay. In a survey conducted of 958 company directors, 74% of them said that they intend to continue with extensive working from home measures.

This means that many organisations will need to start factoring in working from home when thinking about data protection in the long term. 

In this blog, we’ll share some useful advice on how everyone in your organisation can work from home securely and discuss steps you can take to revamp your secure IT equipment disposal policies.

Ways to stay secure when working from home

According to a CybSafe analysis of the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office, 90% of cyber security breaches are caused by human error

When staff work from home, they could be lulled into a false sense of security and become more relaxed around security measures.

Here are a few tips that can help significantly reduce the risks to your organisation when adopting a working from home culture.

Setting out policies

Properly setting out policies and procedures for working from home for things such as sending emails, how files are stored and conference calls will ensure that staff know what they can do to keep your organisation protected.

Use work-provided equipment 

Providing pre-approved hardware and software for staff to use limits the number of security vulnerabilities that comes with using hardware and software that isn’t secure.

Don’t mix your organisation’s data with personal data

If you haven’t been supplied with your own hardware or the ability to remote access your office machine, avoid mixing your own personal data with your organisations confidential data. As an organisation you can help to ensure this by using cloud storage frameworks like Google Drive or OneDrive. You should also regularly check for client data on your home computer that you may have downloaded . Get into the habit of doing this daily to ensure maximum security. 

Lock it away

Where possible, staff should keep hardware and confidential documents locked away at the end of the day.

Use secure passwords & anti-virus

Despite what many IT managers hope, some staff may be less cautious and more relaxed with their online security at home. Ensuring that staff switch to using more secure passwords can add that extra layer of protection . Also, if some staff don’t have adequate antivirus and firewall protection, it could be worth considering supplying them with licences.

Be extra vigilant against phishing attacks

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a rise of cyber attacks and phishing emails sent to both organisations and individuals. Extra vigilance should be taken when opening emails from unknown senders and avoid opening links and documents in emails as this could lead to injecting malware onto your computer. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) published guidance on spotting suspicious phishing emails.

Share files securely

You should always use the methods of data sharing and communication that has been provided by your organisation. However, if you don’t have such means at your disposal, use a secure file sharing service and other encrypted methods of communicating can help keep confidential information secure. Sometimes email isn’t completely secure, so adding  password protection to documents can add an extra layer of security.

Switching from office to remote working securely

If your organisation is thinking about making the switch from an office to remote working, you may want to consider upgrading your staff’s IT equipment. If this is the case, or if you’re going to throw out old office hardware that is no longer needed, you will need to think about how you securely dispose of your IT equipment.

At Asset Care, we specialise in the secure removal, destruction and disposal of old computer equipment and storage devices. Our entire process is transparent and you will be supplied with a certificate of secure destruction as evidence of your commitment to data protection.

Speak to a member of our team to get an instant quote about our secure IT disposal, data wiping and IT remarketing services.