Due to Covid-19, working from home is now the established way of working for many and returning to the workplace is for some a far off event and for others no longer an option.

In our next periodic series, we will be focusing on how to ensure that organisations continue to be productive in the context of the current circumstances, are mindful of their employees and workers and how policies, procedures and ways of working should adapt to this new normal.

Entering Lockdown was for many organisations a hurried affair with the focus on trying to conduct business as usual and achieve current deliverables. Home working policies if they were not already in place or fully detailed have had to catch up.  Now that long term strategy around this topic is at the forefront of decision makers’ minds, future priorities and policy revision are beginning to take shape.

Smart Consult considers that Cyber Security should be at forefront of any refreshed policies.

Cyber security's core function is to protect the devices we all use (smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers), and the services we access - both online and at work - from theft or damage. It's also about preventing unauthorised access to the vast amounts of personal information we store on these devices, and online.

National Cyber Security Centre Tweet

When workers are permitted to work remotely cybersecurity risks and challenges are posed.. Those risks are heightened when the majority of employees are away from an office and when anxiety and disinformation are rife.  Keeping company and personal data safe and secure is key to efficiency, productivity, and not reactionary fire fighting.

It is vital that organisations evaluate their data security protocols, revising policies particularly IT, health and safety, to ensure that it is inline with this new version of remote working.

Equally as important is communicating that the same principles of data protection apply at home as in the office, including that a breach could lead to severe disciplinary action.  As a consequence, retraining in this area is a must.  An organisation’s reputation relies on its conduct and workforce.

The following are measures that Smart Consult recommend that organisations consider:

Device: Company or BYOD
  • Organsiations should have a consistent approach to either providing company devices which have been set up with appropriate security systems or a robust Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) guidance that is adhered to.
Controlling access to corporate systems
  • Implement Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) which allow remote users to securely access an organisation’s IT resources.  Network access can be further restricted with implementation of multi factor authentication in addition to strong password policy enforcement
Increased IT Visibility
  • Inform all workers that IT teams and systems will increase monitoring and testing of the network to ensure compliance with refreshed systems.

The overall aim is to make sure that security measures replicate the office environment as much as is possible.  This similarity should remind Home workers that their essential role and responsibilities remain the same.

  • Workers are to be apprised of the new policies and complete any required training. 
  • Whether using their own device or the organisation’s, worker need to keep their device and organisation data safe. This includes following all the recommended security protocols including screen lock when away from their device.

This new normal is a challenging and uncertain time for all concerned, however the unknown and new practices can be mitigated by basic safeguards.

If you require qualified and/or experienced experts who are skilled home workers, look no further than Smart Consult for your needs. 

Contact us today with your requirements, we would be happy to help.

Should you have a research project or request for proposal that you wish to discuss, then please submit the request here.

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