As global concern for the Coronavirus outbreak rises, many companies may require at-risk staff to stay at home instead of coming into the office. With the rise of employees working from home, cyber security becomes a much greater risk. 

Your employees could be connecting to their home wireless network or accessing their corporate accounts using unsecured public Wi-Fi. This way, malicious actors nearby can easily spy on their connection and harvest confidential information. For instance, data sent in an unencrypted form in plain text might be intercepted and stolen by cyber criminals. For this reason, your employees should not be allowed to access any unknown Wi-Fi networks unless they are using a VPN connection 

To ensure that every employee is secure when working from home, we have provided six tips below to help improve your productivity and security. 

Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) 

MFA adds another layer of protection to keep unauthorised users from getting access to a controlled system or private data by requiring users to provide more than one piece of evidence or credential before gaining entry. To be considered MFA, the security access process must require at least two credentials from two different categories. These may be something you know, like a password or PIN; something you have, like a smart card, a smartphone or a key fob or something you are, like your fingerprint.  

Encrypt Everything 

Any communication undertaken by your remote workers needs to follow strict encryption practices, so it will be impossible to make sense of any data if there is a security breach. 

With security breaches becoming all too common, encryption has become an expected practice in all types of customer communications, whether voice, chat, email or text. Strict encryption requirements are especially important for work-at-home customer care agents so that if there is a security breach the data would be meaningless to hackers and others intercepting it. Data must be encrypted both in transit and in a resting state to ensure the utmost security. 

Use a VPN 

Virtual Private Networks encrypt all internet traffic from and to the device until the program is deactivated. They essentially create a secure tunnel between a user and a company through public internet. VPNs are invaluable for securing data over unsecured networks, stopping all prying eyes (such as an ISP) from spying on the data being sent and helping your network administrators enforce company security best practices for employees working from home. 

Two basic types of VPN technologies are available depending on your risk threshold and requirements. Remote Access VPN allows a user to connect to a network from any location and is ideal for letting remote workers access company network. Site-to-Site VPN also known as router-to-router VPN on the other hand encrypts data between two different geographical locations such as two offices. 

Microsoft SharePoint 

Businesses using SharePoint to store their files are already set up! SharePoint Online is a web-based collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office. It allows you to keep all your files in one place and share access across your organisation. Anyone with an active Business Essentials or above subscription has access to SharePoint Online.  

SharePoint already has many features to help keep all your data secure, so it is a great choice if you are looking for a secure cloud service for your employees to use at home.    

File-Sharing Services (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive) 

For businesses with a small team (4-5) people, you may be using a file-sharing service. Using this is fine whether you’re in the office or out. However, for slightly larger teams, file-sharing services may not offer you the collaboration you need due to limitations. Speak with your IT resource to make sure you’re ready in case your office needs to close. 

Microsoft Teams 

Microsoft Teams is cloud-based team collaboration software that is part of the Office 365 suite of applications. The core capabilities in Microsoft Teams include business messaging, calling, video meetings and file sharing. Businesses of all sizes can use Teams securely to improve productivity within the business. 

If you need advice on Business Continuity, give us a call on 0330 223 13 91 or email [email protected].