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Technical Advice on working remotely and securely on the network for SME’s

Flexi-working (or working from home) is becoming an important benefit to provide your employees. Stuart Jailler at Seareach explains how you can do this for your company whilst keeping your company’s data secure.

 

Technology plays an important role in enabling people to work in a lot more flexible way, and big corporations including SMEs are embracing the full potentials of technology. But while technology is really helpful in getting work done, the benefits of regular office working shouldn’t be completely ignored.

With technology bridging the gap between businesses and their customers in ways such as social networking, video conferencing and remote working, it might be safe to say it isn’t necessary for anyone to go to the office anymore. It is important for companies to give their employees the opportunity to work remotely, but it is also necessary for them to provide them with the option of office space.

With a lot of SME beginning as a work from home gig, it is important that they do this in a productive and secure manner to guarantee the continued existence of their business. A large percentage of businesses in the United States and Europe have introduced options for their employees to work remotely while this phenomenon is applaudable, it does pose a serious risk that can affect the overall security of these businesses.

Prevent unintentional data loss/theft

There are a lot of scenarios that can lead to data loss, such as a personal error that result in the deletion of a file, to the theft of password or computer. When this does happen, chances are that someone could eventually be in possession of confidential information belonging to the business for which the employee is working for. To prevent unintentional data theft or loss, it is important that employees work from a secure office network setup. Even for SMEs, the loss of important information can be detrimental especially when it falls into the hands of the competition which can spell doom for the company if security measures are not implemented.

Install Up-to-date security measures on your computer

Desktop computers and personal laptops should be protected with up-to-date antivirus, network firewall, web filtering, device encryption and other preventive measures to prevent the occurrence of hacking by cybercriminals. Cybercrime is one of the biggest threat to the success of any business and the best way to protect any business from cyber attack is to ensure that networks and systems are hack proof. Making networks and systems hack proof may seem like a stressful, expensive and time-consuming task but it remains the most efficient way to protect your business from hackers.

Be extra cautious with wireless networks

Working outside the safety of a home security network can be risky for a business. This is because public wireless networks are vulnerable and prone to attacks. This is a big problem especially when employees work from a cafe or any other public place that doesn’t have access to a secure network. If employees must work from public places, then it is compulsory that they ensure that all company’s data and information are protected and secured. As for employees, it might be cool to work from a public cafe but ensure that you keep an eye out for malicious emails from hackers.

There is also the issue of home accidents

Even when you work from home with a secure WLAN and VPN, there are other home accidents that can’t easily be controlled. Kids or pets are also a big threat when it comes to the data loss. They are in the habit of playing with the computer when it is unattended to. Pressing random keys on the computer or falling it on the floor can also lead to the loss of important company data. Although home accidents can’t always be prevented, when working at home, it is important for employees to ensure that the working space isn’t easily accessible to pets or kids.

Computers with office files and information should only be used by employees

When employees work remotely from home, they should ensure that their work laptops should be a personal computer and not one that can be used by other members of the family. This is necessary to prevent other members of the family from messing with sensitive office data and information. All gadgets relating to work such as tablets, phones, flash drives and hard disks should be treated with extra care.

Companies should come up with remote working policies and ensure employees adhere to them

The guys at Seareach who are experts in security labels, asset tags and documents suggest that any business that offers employees the option of working remotely should ensure that they have remote working policies that employees must adhere to. These policies should relate to how employees access company network and confidential information. When there are policies in place to guide employees on how to protect the confidential data and information of a business, then it becomes easy for employees to know how best to prevent company’s data from loss or theft.

A quality home internet service makes a big difference when working from home

The quality of home internet service can make a big difference when working from home. When employees work from home with a poor internet service, it can lead to missed e-mails, failed deadlines, and slow upload and download speeds and other problems that can easily be avoided with a quality internet service. Investing in quality home internet service is a good investment as it eliminates the chances of getting into problems with employers and also the possibility of losing your work from home job.

In conclusion

Although there are a lot of risks associated with working from home, it is still one of the best ways by which SMEs get a lot of work done. But SMEs need to make it a priority to install rules and policies that guide the activities of employees who work remotely. Companies can hire the services of IT specialist to work on a software solution to ensure the security of networks. These IT firms can come up with cloud-based applications that utilize a two-factor authentication for connection to work or personal devices. Also, VPN is also a good way to ensure that connections are secure to prevent the harmful and intentional breach of company information.