Especially when it comes to adjusting their use of IT, which has presented plenty of challenges, when it comes to security.
During the pandemic, it was vital that businesses had the capability to offer remote working in order to continue operations. Understandably, this caused a lot of strain, both technologically and financially. From having to invest in new equipment, software and solutions to enable remote working to figuring out how to adapt their processes without hindering productivity. Now we’ve returned to some level of normality, businesses are still under pressure to offer hybrid and permanent home working in order to remain competitive with recruitment and meet the changing needs of the workforce. This means many businesses are still having to adapt their IT systems and strategy to accommodate this change to location-agnostic working. We think that it is fair to say that the IT budgets of many businesses have been pushed to the limit by the adaptation caused by the pandemic, therefore the thought of investing more money and time on their IT strategy may seem like a risk. However, having an IT network that is well-protected and effectively secured is always worth the investment.
Knowing where to start when it comes to improving your IT security can feel like the toughest part of the challenge. So, we’ve put together 5 key steps that you can take to improve your IT security and effectively defend your data.
The first key step you can take to improve your IT security is to implement important security tools. These tools form a basic level of protection and all businesses should be using them, as standard, within their IT strategy. Multi-factor authentication, email security, secured cloud environments and effective password protection are all tools that can provide effective protection and reduce the risk of a security breach, even when working from home. It is beneficial to implement other more complex security measures on top of these key solutions, however, ensuring that you are using these security measures as a minimum is a good start.
Like we said in the introduction to this article, considering investing in your IT projects may seem risky, given the financial impact the pandemic has had on business. Therefore, to safeguard your financial situation, it may seem wise to put IT projects on the back burner for now. However, if a project will improve your IT security, it will be a worthwhile investment. Rather than forgoing improving your IT altogether until you feel more financially comfortable, evaluating the short and long-term benefits that the projects could offer your business and choosing projects that will support the future of your IT is a much more logical approach.
Just as you wouldn’t provide your business financial details to every employee, you don’t need to provide access to all of your company data to everyone within your business. Naturally, the more people who have access to business data, the risk of a security breach or accidental release/deletion of data is increased. Identifying a list of people who require a higher level of access to data and restricting those who do not need this level of access is an excellent way of limiting the risk of a security breach. This approach can and should be applied with employees who work both within the office and from home.
Although it cannot be denied that working from home provides a wealth of benefits to your team, from both productivity and wellbeing points of view, when it comes to security, it does raise a lot of challenges. One of the biggest issues is the mixing of business and personal use of devices. From your business data being accessed by insecure Wi-Fi networks and employees using company devices for personal use to files being stored on personal devices and therefore out of your control – it is a minefield of potential gateways for cyber-criminals.
Cybersecurity training that they may have completed when they first started with the company may be forgotten over time, especially when working away from the office. Therefore it is important to ensure you keep on top of cybersecurity communication with your team. Implementing regular refresher training can be a good way to ensure that your team is clear with what is expected of them when it comes to cybersecurity when working from home and in the office. Introducing regular tips to your team on how they can improve their approach to keeping data secure is also an effective method for ensuring your team are operating in a secure way. Training and communication doesn’t need to be complicated when it comes to implementing it. Virtual team meetings and informative emails can be an easy and effective way to maintain open communication about cybersecurity and spread awareness of common security issues.
Prevention is always better than cure, but do you and your team have a clear plan if disaster strikes? With a location-agnostic team, it is even more important than ever that your employees know what to do, should your business fall victim to data loss or security breach. Having an effective disaster recovery plan, coupled with a comprehensive backup of your business data ensures that your business can restore data effectively and avoid too much downtime should an issue arise. Regularly updating your team on what to do should they identify a security breach is also of paramount importance so they can alert the business and it can be taken care of sooner.
At Elite, we understand how difficult it can be to adapt your IT for the ‘new normal’ whilst keeping your data secure. We have a range of security solutions available that are capable of protecting businesses of all sizes in all sectors. With a wealth of experience and a team of experts, you can also take advantage of specialist knowledge, advice and support, so you can make the most of your security solutions and ensure your data has the best protection possible. From implementing multi-factor authentication to securing entire cloud-based environments, we are here to help you provide the best defence for your IT network and its data.