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With the UK going into a second lockdown this week, are you confident in your businesses IT and its ability to ensure your employees can work from home seamlessly? In this article, we will explain how to ensure your home working arrangements are as robust as possible to ensure a smooth ride through the next few weeks.

Homeworking is something we have all had to adopt in some way or another throughout 2020, and our IT and Telecoms have been more critical to businesses than ever before. With Homeworking for many organisations becoming more certain into the future, IT Security is always at the forefront of concern; however, when your employees are spread over many different locations, it is paramount that you have measures in place to keep your data and your customer’s information safe and secure from Cybercrime.

We have created a list below of the main priorities to tick off when implementing a thriving home working environment for your staff.

What do you need to do?

  • Appropriate equipment – have you ensured your staff have a laptop or PC, screens, mouse, keyboard and a phone (where necessary)? It may seem like an easy one to remember, who can forget to give their employees equipment? However, if you have a long-standing employee, or engineer used to working from two or three computer screens, and all of a sudden, they are given a laptop with a 13” screen, their productivity will be impacted, dramatically at a high hidden cost to your business.
  • Cloud environment – The ability to access data quickly and efficiently is often underrated. ‘Just use a VPN, it will be fine…..’ Migrating some data to the cloud is a must for productivity, security, and performance. Your remote team can log in on any device wherever they are which lowers your burden on an IT team managing VPN access, and your staff have an environment to save and access documents rather than storing them on a desktop which could be lost or stolen.
  • MFA – having MFA in place gives you and your staff an enhanced layer of security when logging in to different platforms. MFA is a security system that requires more than one method of authentication to verify the users’ identity, a Passcode, or a Unique series of numbers in text format. Most companies these days offer MFA at sign in to protect both yours and your customer’s data.

Scenario time: Susan works in Customer Service for a small insurance company, her laptop gets stolen from her car while she popped into the local shop. She hadn’t changed the password from the default “Changeme” (or not even set one). A criminal now has access to her machine. Susan uses tools like LastPass; after all, ‘she has a lot of passwords to remember’. The criminal looks at her search history and finds a site called “Customer Relationship Manager” and clicks it. LastPass autofill’s the password, and just like that, your company has lost its client data.

Now, add MFA to this scenario, yes the criminal has access to the desktop, and yes the search history. Still, when clicking the sign-in button and LastPass autofill’s the password, a unique code is sent to Susan’s mobile before being able to log in. This one tool has protected company data, saved the organisation a fine of €20 million (about £18 million) or 4% of annual global turnover – whichever is greater

  • Communication – The ability to communicate and collaborate is the key to an organisations’ success. Having apps such as Microsoft Teams and SharePoint are inexpensive and excellent ways for your staff to communicate and share their work securely with their team and peers at any time.

Without the right tools, knowledge, and strategy, working from home can have a negative impact on productivity and the level of service your customers receive. Knowing how to align these elements to suit your business is a critical factor for the success of remote working.

Remote working seems set to stay, so it is worth investing in appropriate home working solutions and securing your business and employees.

As IT and Communications specialists, we help get your business up and running with all the home working tech you need. Fill in the form below, and one of our experts will be in touch.

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