Improving data security whilst working from home

The way we’re working is changing

Technology is advancing more and more which is enabling more and more people to work from tablets, smartphones and mobile apps to complete their work on a daily basis. Employers are moving existing systems to cloud based technologies and investing in collaboration tools to support cultural and digital transitions giving people the chance to work just like they would in the office.

Did you know that 80% of remote workers are reporting higher morale?*

As your digital transition takes shape and you help your people work when, where and how they want too, you’ll start to see the benefits, like higher morale, stronger productivity and cost savings. However, some of the new challenges you might face are working securely and keeping your company data safe. Working remotely, people will need to access your systems and information on multiple devices and possibly on different wifi networks which has the potential of putting your data at risk, which means that you need to find a balance between keeping your data safe and letting your people work flexibly when and where they want to work. In this blog we’ll be looking at 7 actionable data security tips.

1. Password-protect everything

Front line workers are making up an estimated 80% of the global workforce (1) however, surprisingly, the majority of digital transformation initiatives have so far left these workers behind. Despite the emergence of a host of technologies revolutionising how these workers operate, organisations are failing to empower this essential segment of their workforce. Numerous studies have shown that front line organisations that have equipped front line employees with the right technology and unlocked their dormant potential have seen real transformation. Not only have these workers been left behind but employees no longer expect to be disconnected from the office, in fact front line employees report that they don’t have adequate access to the information they need. 73% of front line workers report they need to pause or completely stop work regularly to find information they don’t have at their immediate disposal. (2)

Fortunately, the tools that can remedy these types of situations are now readily available from Samsung and those who are properly equipping employees are witnessing the benefits and returns in multiple ways.

2. Keep your devices virus-free

Should a device become infected by a virus or malware, hackers can use it to dig through data and steal your identity or even lock up your files and demand a ransom for their return. Anti-virus programs like “Norton” “McAfee” protect your devices from these types of attacks. A good working practice is to keep up to date with software updates and running the latest security patches on anti-virus software.

3. Secure your browser

Advertisers use cookies to analyse what you’ve browsed so they can tailor advertisements to you. Hackers can also use cookies to follow your web activity. Wherever possible you should block cookies. This is supported by almost any browser.

Advertisers and hackers can also track you through JavaScript. JavaScript can be disabled to keep them at bay, however disabling this will stop some webpages from working. In this situation you need review the security risk versus the disruption it could cause to your workflow. If disabling JavaScript will enhance business protection over productivity then removing the application could be the right choice.

Working in the field and using public wifi (coffee shops/malls/restaurants) brings an element of risk where connections can be intercepted by somebody else on the same network. Best practice here is to avoid public wifi and only work from a secure network.

4. Be mindful of scams

Hackers and scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated when it comes to mimicking businesses or individuals which makes the scam more difficult to spot. Paying more attention to websites, emails and phone calls that are trying to extract personal information can go a long way especially as scammers often apply pressure for you act upon – which can be an easy to spot indicator. If you feel this pressure and are uncomfortable, the best thing to do is to hold off on sharing your details, take a step back and come back later. Legitimate companies are willing to wait.

5. Only use software from trusted suppliers

You shouldn’t download software from just about any website, no matter how good the opportunity looks. Always choose software and apps from a trusted developer or brand.
When it comes to applications for tablets and smartphones, always check the privacy policy to understand what information and permissions they are asking for. Are they requesting access to your camera, microphone or files, without it having anything to do with the functionality of the application? If yes, this is a huge red flag and you should find an alternative to using the app.

6. Upskill users

Adding extra layers of security awareness in your culture and training sessions within your organisation won’t go a miss. Training users to recognise phishing scams, setting strong passwords and how to protect devices when working remotely, people are more likely to protect themselves and your company against cyberattacks.

7. Stop auto-forward e-mails

If a hacker does manage to gain access to a mailbox, they can easily extract emails from your account by using auto-forwarding emails. This can be done without the user even being aware. The way to prevent this is by configuring mail flow rules.

If you’re looking for extra help in protecting your devices, get in touch to speak to one of our specialists –