With so many employees working from home, IT security has taken on a whole new dimension over the last 18 months. Chewing IT, a Central Coast Managed IT service provider, offers some tips for businesses to keep staff and data secure.
IT dilemmas during ‘work at home’ periods
The Ponemon Institute recently conducted a global study of 2,215 IT and IT security personnel in Australia, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and Scandinavia. The study showed that 71% of respondents are very concerned that remote workers are putting the organisation at risk for a data breach and 57% of respondents said they are prime targets for those wishing to exploit vulnerabilities.
When people work from home, they often use home computers or personal devices connected to home Wi-Fi. Those devices may not be compatible with work systems or have the IT support or infrastructure for safe and effective work. The blurring between home and work online activities also exposes company networks to more virus and malware attacks.
Take the pressure off internal IT support
If you already have an internal IT support team, they may have to manage productivity and security on unfamiliar operating systems and home devices. Providing work laptops and mobile phones for all remote workers will greatly ease the pressure on your internal IT services.
With remote workers often having flexible hours to manage home schooling and take much-needed recreation breaks during lockdown, they could be working at any time. This means that security issues need to be monitored 24/7 so you may need additional IT service capacity to support your team.
Use ‘Managed IT’ for network security
For Central Coast companies with more than five computers or staff to manage remotely, Managed IT support is worth considering. Managed service providers have staff skilled in multiple platforms and systems and they can monitor threats 24/7. IT solutions in the toolkit include Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Cloud networking and server upgrades.
A Managed IT service provider will install the latest software and anti-virus/malware defences for your Central Coast business, and this will also protect your remote workers. A managed service provider can also design your IT security policies and educate your staff on protection from phishing and malware attacks. Examples of education include:
What red flags should staff be alert for?
How should they deal with suspicious looking emails and attachments?
What is the best way to manage passwords across multiple platforms and sites?
How can home Wi-Fi be kept secure?
Although it is not directly related to security, a Managed IT service provider can provide collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and file sharing. This helps with productivity and engagement during lockdown periods.
Supporting staff to work from home safely
As well as retaining a Managed IT specialist to reduce pressure on internal IT services, companies can support staff by:
Providing a shredder to employees who work on confidential documents
Providing a good quality Wi-Fi router
Subsidising additional internet bandwidth for home networks
Educating staff on personal data security (e.g., two factor authentication) as well as work security.
Please call the Chewing IT experts on 02 4339 4789 to discuss better security for remote workers at your Central Coast business.