How to protect your digital infrastructure in the remote working age.
Remote working has been an increasing trend for some time, but it has become more important than ever during recent months thanks to the Coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic.
For industries in the technical, manufacturing and supply chain markets, many of whom are already facing pressures due to the virus, this presents not only logistical challenges, but also security issues.
After all, whilst IoT and the digital evolution have made it easier than ever for your teams to work remotely on everything from running programmes to fixing machinery, this also means that there’s now more chance of someone hacking into your digital infrastructure and causing damage.
Additionally, as you’ve got more staff accessing files remotely, and much less ability to communicate with them instantly, it can be hard for you to ensure that vital data is not mishandled or mislaid.
If your business is concerned about the impact that remote working will have on its digital security, then read on to learn more about how you can protect your firm’s precious digital infrastructure.
Create Procedures Immediately
Many companies are being forced to make snap decisions about sending employees home to work, so it’s important that you put safety procedures in place as soon as possible. If you don’t, then staff will be unsure of what they are and are not allowed to do or access, meaning that they may make devastating mistakes. Put a comprehensive plan in place as quickly as possible and provide it to all of your staff.
Provide Anyone Who Will Be Accessing Your System With Copies Of Your Procedure
As well as your own staff, you also need to make any external contractors who may be remotely accessing your systems aware of your rules and requirements. This will ensure that they follow your procedures and are unable to claim ignorance. You also need to make sure that you have security technology in place to ensure that no unauthorised individuals can access your systems, and that those external contracts that do have authorisation only do what they are allowed to. Work with experienced security and defence contractors Qinetiq to ensure that your company has the security software and procedures in place to protect its digital assets.
Provide Staff With Dedicated Work Equipment
In the rush to get office staff working from home, it’s easy to allow them to log in to your company’s systems from their own computers, laptops, tablets, and even mobile phones. However, this can cause a security risk, as your staff are less likely to have the standard of antivirus and security software on their own devices. They may also be less cautious about leaving their own property lying around, which could lead to it getting stolen. As such, it’s crucial that you provide staff with company issued devices to use for their work, and that you have clear instructions on their use and security.
Make Software Updates Mandatory
Outdated software can cause serious security issues, so as part of your remote working procedures you need to make sure that staff always update their software as soon as the new versions are released. Impress upon your staff the importance of keeping their software solutions up to date, to ensure that any work devices that access your systems remotely are completely secure and won’t cause a gap through which hackers can compromise your systems.
Check Every Team Member Has A Secure Private Internet Connection
It’s not just the devices your staff access your systems on that play a part in the cybersecurity, but also the internet connections they use. Make sure that no staff are accessing unsecured public networks, and that they all use a secure private network instead. If staff are unable to get access to a safe private network, then offer to provide them with one so that they can work safely and reduce the chances of compromising your workplace’s systems.
Review The Security Of Any IoT Connected Equipment
The Internet of Things is revolutionising the industrial market, but it’s also posing its own unique set of security risks. As such, it’s important that you don’t overlook the security of your IoT enabled devices when you’re instigating remote working procedures. Speak to your equipment and internet providers and review the ways in which your device and connection are both secured. You also need to explore the ways in which it is used and review if there are any steps your company can take to ensure that your IoT enabled devices are protected.
As remote working become increasingly prevalent and the need for it grows because of the global situation, now more than ever companies across the industrial market need to be aware of their responsibilities to ensure the safety of their digital infrastructure. This article should help you to put in place procedures and practices that will keep your company’s digital assets safe.