As we start to emerge from the third national lockdown since this time last year, we’re alarmed to see many businesses still using temporary IT measures for their remote workers.
What was an emergency situation a year ago is now, in many ways, normal. Whilst around 60% of the UK’s adult population have worked at home during lockdown, around a quarter of Brits wish to continue working from home on a permanent basis. It’s therefore imperative that businesses take the necessary steps to lock down their IT kit, systems and processes.
We’ve spoken before about ‘Shadow IT’ (IT that makes use of devices and systems that haven’t been purchased or approved by the business). Shadow IT brings many security issues and some businesses have relied on shadow IT during lockdown!
Where staff are using home computers, phones, printers, and internet connections, security is at far greater risk of a breach. And then there is old-fashioned paper to consider; how is paperwork being disposed of? And are all business materials and devices held in ways that are compliant with GDPR requirements?
At the beginning of the pandemic businesses could have been forgiven for sacrificing IT Security for staff safety. However, hackers have never been forgiving and have preyed on the weaknesses exposed by home working. Plus, if your business is not guarding data appropriately the ICO and your customers will not appreciate lack of compliance.
If you haven’t yet addressed the IT issues surrounding changes in work patterns it’s vital that you tackle them right away.
Make sure that all staff are using work-approved devices and software, wherever they’re based. Update policies and procedures to include remote working. Ensure your staff are still receiving regular staff training on IT Security and understand the risks that they are exposing the business to if they don’t comply.
Whilst everything seems to be going swimmingly, don’t forget that fraudsters lurk below the surface, ready to emerge. Make sure your business is not a target by replacing temporary solutions with permanent ones.