For many businesses, hybrid working is not just something that was implemented during covid restrictions. Having the flexibility to offer staff days working from home can improve productivity, employee engagement, and satisfaction.
In the rush to move things over to a hybrid working world, it can be all too easy to overlook one of the most important aspects of any business: cybersecurity. Below is a guide to keeping your business secure in a hybrid working world.
Implementing Secure IT Systems
To allow hybrid working, you need to set up remote access. This allows your employees to access the files and programs they need to work productively on the days they work from home. Having a secure IT system will improve the security of your business when people access your server from home.
If you need assistance setting-up remote access or improving the security of your IT system, you should consider getting IT support. Geek-Guru provides hardware support and security support for businesses that need managed services in Birmingham. They can assist businesses from a wide range of industries, focusing on dependable and quality IT support in Birmingham. This ensures your IT systems are secure, minimising the risks of a data breach.
Reduce Email Messaging
When working from home, email messaging is a common way to connect with colleagues. Whilst emails have their place in business, it may be worth using a channel-based messaging program, which makes communication more secure. If your email addresses are easily found online, it becomes easy for hackers to impersonate other business members and request personal details or information about clients.
Your employees should also be made aware and trained annually on the importance of email security, including password changing and spotting fraudulent emails. You should never ask for personal information from your employees about customers or themselves over emails. Try using a secure messaging platform to provide streamlined communication between management and employees.
When introducing a new way of working in your business, your employees must be trained to understand the risks that come with hybrid working. You should implement a new employee training program that covers how to stay safe when working from home and how to keep company information secure.
This should include things like only using a work laptop to access programs and emails, not leaving your computer logged in when housemates or family members are around, and not printing confidential information from home. As well as employee training, you should create a hybrid working policy that outlines best practices for both your business and your employees. This means there will be no confusion when it comes to hybrid working and cyber security.
Using Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is a widely used security technology that requires employees to pass multiple methods of authentication to access a system or program. For hybrid working, this is vital to keeping company information confidential and secure. Whilst username and password systems offer some sort of security, it is not enough when work laptops could be lost or stolen.
This can safeguard your company if an employee were to have their home broken into and their laptop stolen. MFA requires a password, as well as another form of authentication, such as keying in a code sent to their email address or phone number.
Ensure Employees Secure Their Network
Even if you provide employees with laptops to work from, they still need to access your systems through their Wi-Fi networks. This can cause a whole new security threat if their network is not secured. There are things that employees can do at home to improve the security of their Wi-Fi network, starting with changing their Wi-Fi password to something unique and strong.
They can also create a guest network for their Wi-Fi, which can be used for their devices, keeping their work network separate. Another way to improve security this way is to change their router settings to a more secure one, such as WPA2. You can find out how to do this yourself here so that you can teach your employees to do the same.
With employees working from home or out of the office, password security is something that should be looked at frequently. A good business model is to change passwords every 30 to 60 days. This will be dependent on many things, such as how many people use the system, if anyone has left the company recently, and how strong the password is.
Any password for your business should contain letters, numbers, and special characters. Ensure all employees use different passwords for every account and password management software, to keep all passwords secure and in one easily accessible place. Ensure they do not save work passwords to their home laptop, or their Google Chrome accounts.
Keeping your business secure in a hybrid working world starts with implementing a secure IT system. Find an encrypted messaging system to reduce email messaging and train your employees on cyber security whilst hybrid working. Ensure your employees secure their Wi-Fi network and use strong passwords.