Playing your part - staying secure while remote working
Now more than ever, digital security is a team effort, with staff at all levels of an organisation having an active part to play in keeping critical business data safe. With the outbreak of COVID-19, and an unprecedented volume of staff working from home, robust security policies and systems are no longer enough - each and every member of staff must consider security as a fundamental part of their developing remote working routines.
But what can each of us personally do to ensure our organisations maintain their usual standards of security for the duration of this crisis, without letting such measures detract from our day-to-day work? Here are a few starting points…
If you're new to remote working, don't go in blind. Take the time to re-familiarise yourself with your company's security policies (particularly any new ones for home workers) and be sure to attend any training sessions that are on offer (as many organisations are rolling out remote training sessions for home workers, there are no excuses!). This will make the transition far smoother and allow you to stay focused on your work.
Secure your router
At Exponential-e, we always say that 'your Cloud is only as good as your network'. In the same way, your remote working solution is only as good as your router. As above, make sure its password is secure (especially if you've never changed its pre-set password!) and take any recommended security measures, both from your network provider and your IT team.
Check your passwords
This is a familiar refrain in the world of data security, but it always bears repeating. Familiarise yourself with current best practice regarding password creation (there are plenty of useful resources available online for this) and avoid reusing passwords. While memorising multiple passwords for each platform you use for work is certainly inconvenient, there are many excellent password manager tools available. Ask your IT team which one they would recommend, as your company may already require employees to use a specific one.
We all know how irritating requests to install updates on our personal devices can be, but in our current climate, it's more important than ever. More than just keeping your own devices secure, a single instance of malware could bring down your entire company network, so don't take any chances. Ensure you install all recommended updates, or – better yet – enable automatic updates. This will ensure your devices are always protected against the latest security threats.
As we've already mentioned several times in this post, if you are unsure about anything when it comes to data security, don't guess… ask the right person! In particular, your IT team will be more than happy to advise you about security best practice when home working, or alternatively, consider Exponential-e's Cyber Security Advisory service, which was created to provide a 'one stop shop' for any security-related concerns you may have.
In the meantime, download our Working from Home Checklist, which breaks down all the key elements of secure remote working.