Prioritising Remote Worker Data Security is Key to Lowering Breach Risk
The economic landscape has shifted over the last 18 months, with more businesses adapting to the inevitable hybrid model of working – and with flexibility for organisations and employees alike, comes heightened risk.
Employers had to quickly adapt to enable their workforce to work from home during lockdown, have discovered that many of their employees do not want to return to the office full time. A survey conducted by NUI Galway and the Wester Development Commission recently revealed that 95% of employees that currently work from home, were in favour of continuing to work at home, either some or all of the time.
In January this year, the Irish Government issued a National Remote Work Strategy which outlines the future investment into remote working, and legislates that workers have the right to request homeworking.
Employees are empowered to lobby for more flexibility from their employers.
Although, not all consider working from home a ‘privilege’. There are some whose work life balance has shifted for the worse, and more than two thirds of people indicated they missed seeing their work colleagues, highlighted by the 2021 Behaviour & Attitudes survey.
The reality is, there are challenges that come with home working, it’s not for everyone, but we do know that it works for the majority, and businesses have still managed to maintain continuity, increase productivity and employee work-life balance.
Home working is on the increase in Ireland and has strong interest from existing and new employees.
But successfully accommodating such a shift in the way companies and their employees connect and communicate, is no mean feat. Extensive planning and strategy needs to be applied now as we are no longer in the midst of ‘emergency measures’.
The sustainability of a productive hybrid working model, will hinge on data security.
Each company will have different needs, and so will their employees, but it is important to keep their support and safety a priority.
In addition to monitoring employee stress levels and wellbeing, adequately equipping them to do their roles, is essential.
Balancing that with establishing a simple, scalable and secure infrastructure to enable distributed collaboration, is also crucial for any company and their sensitive data, particularly when you factor in this communication will now be happening outside of a traditional office IT environment.
But how do you keep your employees and data secure?
Policies on cyber safety awareness and good habits can help to promote better awareness of potential security risks. Be aware of Business Email Compromise (BEC), if you receive an emergency financial request from a senior leader, be sure to follow up in a separate thread using the email address or phone number you normally correspond with.
Executives and small business owners should ensure staff are aware of these scams and provide them with a trusted in-house contact where they can verify requests and report malicious attempts.
Encourage employees to be vigilant, adhering to any organisational data policies and procedures, and use only their approved devices and applications to complete tasks. Which should help keep personal and professional data separate.
Employees should be taking steps to safeguard not only themselves, but all the information they handle on a daily basis on behalf of the business, its partners, and customers.
Online collaboration tools, such as Office 365, have been invaluable by enabling distributed teams to stay in contact, and share files easily via their cloud platforms. Whilst cloud access security broker (CASB) platforms can help deliver compliance, visibility, and security, they can be costly and complex to deploy.
Over 250 million users actively access Microsoft’s Office 365, however their cloud services see over 300 million fraudulent sign-in attempts daily, and even two-factor authentication isn’t fool proof. Together with the knowledge that 95% of cyber-attacks are the result of human error – this poses risks for companies and their already over stretched IT teams.
Recognising the weaknesses of traditional access management systems, a UK central government department approached CyberHive to design and build a truly secure implementation of Office 365, a solution which overcomes the security and usability issues of alternative technologies.
Adding a Gatekeeper.
Based on patented Trusted Cloud™ technology to protect the cloud infrastructure from threats (internal and external), CyberHive Gatekeeper was designed to protect all Office 365 features, including SharePoint, email and Teams. Gatekeeper helps prevent unauthorised access with multiple independent security features, such that compromised credentials, stolen hardware, even phishing, cannot result in a data breach.
For more info on Gatekeeper for Microsoft Office 365, and how it could support your business, contact – [email protected]
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