7 crucial steps to secure data on staff devices

As we’re all well aware by now, working from home has become the new ‘normal’ for most of us thanks to the ongoing situation, so it’s now even more important than ever before to ensure your company data is completely 100% secure on staff devices whilst they’re working remotely. 


Sadly, cyber criminals are taking advantage of this global panic to do what they do best and we’ve seen an upsurge in attempts to steal data and breach systems, many based around the Coronavirus. 


So what can be done? 


Passwords: Ok, we know we harp on a lot about passwords but we promise we’re saying it for a reason. Yes, your team is working from home and they’re less likely to LOSE their device BUT there may be people in their home with access to it. 


Solution – Strong passwords for all device access plus applications are a must. Also consider implementing multi-factor authentication for your applications (where you get a login code from a separate device). This gives you an added layer of protection.


Access: Out of the millions of people in this world, we like to think we can trust our families the most and we’re definitely not suggesting otherwise. But in cases where a member of staff has, say, a shared laptop, can they be sure that their children won’t click a dodgy link and inadvertently give hackers access to your company’s data? We’d bet not.


Solution – Who has access to your team’s devices? Is it safer and wiser to provide them with a company device instead? With company devices you can also ensure strict instructions that it can ONLY be used by the employee for work purposes. 


Antivirus protected?  If their device doesn’t have antivirus protection already then yes, there is

potential for it to become compromised, BUT the device may already have malware installed. Once that device has access to your confidential data, it could go straight into the hands of the wrong people – not cool. 


Solution – Get on the phone to your IT provider and ask them to remotely check all devices to ensure they’re clean, up-to-date and completely secure. Sorted!


Up to date operating systems: Is there any possibility that your team could be using the now-dead Windows 7 at home? If so, then it could be a big issue here. Since Windows 7 is now

defunct, it’s unsupported so should something go wrong, you’ve nowhere to turn to

retrieve data or resolve a problem.


Solution – Ensure ALL employees are using the most up to date operating systems from home. Make a list of the devices and systems they’re using so if you need IT support they’ll be fully informed, prepared and ready to save the day. 


Take the time to update: Yeah, we get it, application updates are a pain, ESPECIALLY when they take forever and a day. However, they’re vital and you need to ensure all updates are completed as soon as they’re available 


Solution – If applications are updating, make a brew and be patient. They’re worth every single second. Check your employees have the relevant patches installed on their devices. If not, again you’re opening yourself up to cyber criminals, malware and data loss. Give us a call and we’ll get that sorted, STAT. 


What VPN are people using? *Jargon alert!* VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it’s the safest way for your team to access company data. If you don’t currently use one, then it’s time to consider one as it will allow your team to access the company network from home.


Solution – Assess which VPN is most suitable for your new remote working requirements. Unsure? Phone your awesome IT service provider team (hopefully that’s us) and they can advise you of your best option 


The home working handbook: Have you reviewed your current home working policy handbook since the pandemic began? Now’s a good opportunity to check it fully covers what is expected from the team and what policies and procedures you’ve got in place for a streamlined remote working environment. 


Solution: Check it, update it and redistribute it. Schedule in a catch up with your team members to go through any changes and ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of an IT issue 


Need a hand with any of the above? We’re here and able to remotely access and support you where required – your friendly IT service provided with a *virtual* smile. Give us a bell here 

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