After an extraordinary year of change, businesses have had to shift their idea of work culture. Employers are having to devise the right balance between flexibility and security in the office. Instead of the nine-to-five in an office, employees now want remote work, which has positive and negative effects.
The positives are that it is more efficient and can be cost-effective to have flexible working. The downsides are that there is a greater risk to a company’s overall cybersecurity.
Businesses will need to outline more operational steps to balance flexibility and security at the same time. To keep their data secure, infrastructure defence strong, and keep up business as usual.
What Are The Risks of Flexible Working?
The risk of remote work is keeping a company’s data and network secure from hackers. A survey of 1,000 U.S. adults uncovered that 39% would rather than return to the office, just quit their job altogether. So, what does this change in the way we work put at risk?
- Phishing Emails – The FBI’s 2020 internet crime report stated that phishing was the most common type of cybercrime that year. This rise is due to employees being unaware of the associated risks of working from home or on their own devices.
- Unsecure Devices – Another issue is that bringing devices that already have malware onto the company’s network can also cause malware risks.
- Data Breaches – Good password hygiene is a top priority to make accessing data and information more difficult. Along with keeping an eye on devices and ensuring they don’t become lost or stolen.
- Disconnected Employees – The Harvard Business Review also outlined the issue of mental health and its impact on businesses. For example, some remote workers report feeling disconnected, leading to a lack of trust among colleagues and making collaborative tasks more difficult, or worse employees quitting.
The Importance of Staff Training
Training staff on cybersecurity and password hygiene is important to balance a new flexible and secure work operation. Also, training employees on policy changes, network security, and mental wellness could benefit your business.
Taking the time to make staff aware of phishing email tactics by avoiding link clicking from unknown sources is a good start. Also, the dangers of using public Wi-Fi are essential to keeping your organization safe.
How To Maintain Device Security
Unfortunately, these days an anti-virus software isn’t quite enough to keep devices safe. There are different devices, along with numerous ways to keep hackers and malware out of them. Here is a quick look at some ways to keep your devices safe:
- Set long and obscure passwords
- Use a password manager
- Keep your devices locked securely
- Consider multi-factor authentication
- Keep your OS up-to-date
- Update software (especially anti-virus software)
- Encrypt data
- Beware of unknown downloads
Email is, no doubt, the first port of call for security breaches. Cybercriminals target email for data as they are aware that businesses share personal information via email. Sensitive information should always be encrypted, which disguises the content to keep cybercriminals at bay.
This way, only the employees that are meant to see the data do. This is especially important if emails are being sent to remote workers, so carry out email encryption to keep your company data safe.
Network monitoring has several benefits, from identifying current inefficiencies to informing your IT strategy. It’s also a crucial security tool that will act as an early warning if a security issue is unfolding that affects your network.
It works in real-time and gives information to network administrators on software and other deficiencies so that you can proactively resolve the issues ahead of time.
Here are all the ways you can ensure both flexibility and security in the office:
- Train staff – On how to keep data safe, how to adjust to remote work, and detecting phishing emails is critical.
- Passwords, Passwords, and Passwords – Having different ones for different types of sensitive data. It may be simple but your first line of defence starts and ends at a password, so create difficult ones and regularly update them.
- Monitor the Network – having strategies for data security includes network monitors. They can give you warning signs of potential threats, becoming cost-effective in the long run.
- Encrypt Emails – Encrypt sensitive information in emails to avoid data breaches.
Watch your business flourish in this new flexible work era by ensuring both flexibility and security at the same time.
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