With the majority of the population now working from home due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak, we wanted to put together a quick guide on how you can keep your business safe during this testing period. This ‘delay’ phase is a measure the UK government have put in place in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Many businesses may not have a plan in place for remote working, so here are some tips for you.
Implement strong password systems
It is likely that you will have a team of staff gaining access to software in order to keep your business running during this crisis. Therefore, it is extremely important that you have strong password policies in place, and staff should be required to update their login details regularly. Any computer equipment that is used outside of the office should be password protected, and we would always advise using a password manager like LastPass that has two-factor authentication enabled.
Don’t use public Wi-Fi
Now this is probably quite an easy one, particularly if some of your staff are self-isolating. However, your staff may not be used to working from home and might be more motivated working from a local coffee shop. You must stress the importance of your team using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) such as Nord, which you can get for as little as £9.20 a month. Hotspot Shield is a great free alternative.
Encrypt all devices
Before giving your employees laptops and mobile phones to use for remote working, ensure data encryption is added to all devices. There are several options here: you can either install encryption software which encrypts the files you choose, or alternatively you can install a remote-wipe app. This gives you the functionality to erase all data if the device is lost or stolen.
Enforce a remote working policy
It is important that all employees are aware of the importance of keeping the businesses data safe, and every individual is responsible. By enforcing a formal remote working policy, you are not only giving your staff guidance, but educating them on the importance of gathering and accessing data in line with your GDPR policies.
Have a clear notification procedure
If the worst should happen and one of your employees discovers a data breach, they need to be able to act immediately, in the correct manner. A clear procedure should be put in place and all employees must be aware of what constitutes a data breach.
Reduce off-network communication
Personal meetings are being significantly reduced, which means that your team will be taking to emails, phone calls and instant messaging to communicate. It is important that all of these channels are encrypted and secure, to prevent the leak of any important information. Employees should be discouraged from communicating outside of company communication systems, such as via social media or text messaging, as these channels pose a higher security risk.
Keep your business safe
Although most of the nation are working together to reduce the impact of this virus, unfortunately cyber criminals will not be reducing their work! In fact, as there has been a huge surge of people working from home, it is likely that they will take advantage of this time and attempt to access valuable data.
If you would like any more advice on how to keep your business data safe, please contact our team today who are on hand to help you through this challenging time.