How to Ensure your Employees are Safe when Working from Home

Since March many companies have encouraged their employees to work from home but how can you ensure the information which is key to them being productive is maintained safely?

 

The recent comprehensive shift in working practises has obviously not been without its challenges, not least of these is the need to be certain that our critical information is safe. Perhaps not surprisingly the pandemic has seen a rise in cybercrime, a fact reported in a recent survey from the National Cyber Security Centre.

 

In the latest of our guides, we take a look at some of the most common risks associated with the security of your data whilst working away from the office and how best you can counter these:

Some of the Most Common Risks your Business Faces

  1. Unsecured networks 

Generally, office networks are very secure, they have to be, encompassing the latest security and firewalls. The difficulties begin when we move away from these to either home or worse unsecured public Wi-Fi versions

  1. Phishing attacks 

These are fraudulent activities designed with one aim in mind, to steal your private and sensitive information, from user names and passwords to financial information and confidential ID’s. Phishing attacks infiltrate your systems often via seemingly innocent means such as email, instant messaging, text messaging or on rarer occasions voice fishing. 

 

  1. Ransomware  

As the name implies, this is a particularly vicious form of cybercrime. Ransomware typically encrypts your documents or worse your entire system and then demands a ransom be paid to release it.  A trojan is used to infiltrate your system normally delivered via a phishing attack.

How Can You protect yourself against these security risks?

The good news is there are a number of ways: 

  • Use only secure Wi-Fi networks: This might sound obvious but is sadly not always practised. Secure networks are protected by both encryption and password security, therefore always make sure you create a password for your home network which cannot easily be deciphered (NOT PASSWORD!!) and share this with as few people as possible. 
  • Always use a VPN (Virtual Private Network): This will create an entirely self-contained network and will allow encrypted and safe data to be transmitted via the web.
  • Use a secure document Management System: Your company should try to use a secure document management system such as DocuWare for accessing and archiving your critical data from invoices and contracts to sensitive employee filing. Such solutions should have strong user authentication, transfer data using HTTPS, provide document encryption with 256-bit (military grade), have a multi-level access control for documents and settings, track all actions, store all data redundantly, and offer robust protection against malware and other attacks.
  • Activate firewalls and use an anti-virus software: These will ensure you are protected from the sort of dangerous and disabling attacks as mentioned earlier in this article. 
  • Always Remain very Aware:This seems extremely obvious but is your best and first line of defence. The basic rule should always be, if it looks suspicious, it probably is. Sadly, fraudsters are becoming more devious, if you don’t recognise the sender then DON’T open the email and NEVER be tempted to open attachments whose origin you are not certain of.
  • Always Safeguard your passwords:At BPMS, we are constantly amazed how insecurely passwords are held or how simple they are to replicate. Passwords should never be displayed anywhere near work stations and should be sufficiently complicated using a combination of letters, numerals and symbols. In addition, it is good practise to change passwords on a regular basis to further deter hackers. Again, investing in a Document Management system will ensure that both your access credentials and data are always secure.
  • Maintain Regular Back-ups: Unfortunately, however diligently we take our security, it is impossible to eradicate ALL risk. Should the worst happen and your systems are compromised, it is very sensible to retain a backup of all folders and files. In the event your system needs to be rebuilt then you can be sure you have all of your critical filing.

 

Should you require further information on any of these topics or wish to arrange a free, no obligation assessment of your current arrangements, please get in touch with BPMS.