Four IT Security Evaluation Tips for Remote Working
Remote working doesn’t have to pose a cyber security risk as long as you have the right IT security measures in place. Before the pandemic, when the majority of teams were based in central locations, you no doubt made sure your networks and data were secure. Following recent changes in working practices it is recommended that businesses review their IT security to ensure continued safe and secure remote working practices. If you haven’t it’s never too late to perform a review. Here at NCI Technologies we have collated four points you should consider when starting to review your current IT security to accommodate continued home working.
It’s important to have a clear policy on what devices you permit staff to use when working from home to access company information and more importantly your customers information. Organisations can either provide the technology they wish their staff to use when accessing company information or they can implement a Bring Your Own Device Policy (BYOD). Naturally, if you choose to go with fully managed corporate devices it will offer a level of uniformity and control over IT security that you would not have with BYOD.
If you do feel BYOD is the way forward for your organisation the National Cyber Security Centre has excellent guidance on safely enabling staff members to use their own device. As an IT support provider, NCI Technologies will be able to assist you further. BYOD can help organisations cut costs, but this should be weighed up against any potential security risks and the complexities of maintaining consistent IT support across a range of varying devices.
A major consideration when implementing remote working is the security of your data. For example, could a member of staff download your company data and what could they do with it? Having a data security strategy in place can help offer peace of mind that any sensitive data is protected wherever it is accessed. Here are some points to consider:
- Ensure all remote workers have a secure connection to access data
- Implement Multi-factor Authentication wherever possible to add an extra layer of security
- Develop a remote working policy – for data security this will include update and backup frequencies along with approved software
- Install antivirus, run updates and only use fully licensed software on devices to help prevent malicious attacks
- Offer cybersecurity awareness training to staff – they can be your last line of defense against cyber attacks
- Use SaaS applications known also as web-based software - many have security measures in place to protect against malicious threats
- Use a trusted IT support team to monitor and support your networks and staff
If employees are working remotely it is important to maintain control of how your organisation’s data is stored and backed up. This is an important factor when it comes to business continuity and GDPR regulations. For this reason, it is important that your business has a secure, centralised data storage and regular backup system. Staff should also be educated on the best practises on workstations and how sensitive data is processed, handled and stored1, ensuring data is never stored locally on devices or using unsecured storage. Opting to store data with a managed cloud provider offers reliable, secure, anytime, anywhere access to company information. It also offers scalability and flexibility depending on your current storage needs. Ideal in uncertain times or for when you return to the office and may choose to opt for a hybrid or on-premise storage backup solution instead.
It’s inevitable at some point your remote workers will require access to technical support to remedy any IT issues that might occur. Having access to the support of an experienced outsourced IT provider will reduce downtime and allow staff to focus on running your business. IT support providers are now easily able to solve the majority of technical issues through remote sessions and real-time monitoring. Companies will offer a range of remote and on-site managed services or ‘break fix’ options to support your organisation, enabling your remote workers to remain productive. Engaging the services of an IT solutions company means help and peace of mind from a friendly engineer is only a phone call or email away. Just ensure staff know how to easily access support when they immediately need help.
If you are considering continuing to offer remote working in the future and would like support and guidance on reviewing your IT security, NCI Technologies is here to help. Our helpful team of IT support experts will be happy to guide you through the process and offer recommendations on ways you can improve your IT security. DR review appointments are available to book online here.
Alternatively, contact us here or call us on 01326 379 497 to speak to our friendly sales team.