Keeping your data safe when working flexibly
Updated: Jul 17, 2020
When COVID-19 broke out back in March 2020, companies entered crisis mode and focused on undertaking the necessary steps to keep their staff safe and their businesses in operation.
With the UK lockdown easing many businesses are bringing staff back into the office, however this will not be the end of flexible working as we currently know it.
It’s estimated that the average business will only be able to facilitate the return of 40% of their staff, in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. This leaves employers with no choice but to keep part of their workforce remote working several days each week.
Assume your company has half the workforce in one week and other the next. This increasing movement of people brings with it new challenges for maintaining data privacy; whether this is the transfer of equipment between locations, the ongoing need for security in transit or after work hours, or the safe disposal of confidential documents.
Most information management policies state that hard copy information should not leave the office, however this becomes a much harder expectation with a flexible workforce.
Cloud services and device integration have made it easier for staff to be paperless; by simply printing or projecting at their destination. However, continued growth in the paper shredding industry tells us that we aren’t using less paper, despite the rise in paperless operations.
So how do you keep your data safe with a flexible workforce?
Ensure security protections are up to date. This is your barrier for preventing unauthorised access to your devices and/or network. All devices will need to have the appropriate encryptions, firewalls and passwords in place, and (in the case of personal devices) be approved for use by employers.
Keep laptop and mobile devices safe. With cyber criminals finding new ways of navigating security protection, device theft can be a haven for those seeking to access confidential information. Remember to never leave a device unattended when using in public and never leave devices in an empty vehicle.
Use lockable storage units for paperwork and other personal data. Proven the deter theft, a lockable storage unit is fast becoming a home office staple. Whether this is a personal safe or a cabinet with a disc lock, investing in a contained unit will help prevent data breaches in the instance of theft that takes place away from the office.
Use secure cloud facilities for sharing information. Loss of USB sticks are one of the most common ways that data becomes misplaced. With the advancements in secure file sharing there are few reasons for companies to continue using these devices. Whether you opt for a closed network solution like Microsoft Teams or a simple encrypted file sharing solution, secure cloud sharing is a must for modern businesses. Remember to contact your local shredding company for secure disposal of old memory sticks.
Securely dispose of any unwanted papers or packaging. Home workers need to take extra precaution to ensure the security of their internet, electronic documents, and paper documents. Enlisting the services of a shredding company to pick up unwanted documents will ensure secure disposal of your confidential data. A certificate of destruction notice is provided each time you have a collection and even better 100% of paper is recycled.
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