When the UK was placed in lockdown on 23 March, the sudden requirement to allow people to work from home has left some businesses facing a virus threat of another kind – those encrypted by cyber criminals into emails and other innocent looking files that employees unwittingly download.
The application of robust security protection, dedicated networks that are tightly secured and ensuring your IT policies and procedures are followed by all staff are the first steps towards ensuring that your employees can access your company IT server and work productively from home without exposing your business to cyber threats or other breaches of IT security.
Without the above protective measures in place there is a risk your business could be exposed. Sadly over the last few weeks we’ve had emergency pleas for help from businesses who have been left vulnerable because they were not sufficiently prepared to enable staff to work remotely.
In one example we encountered, the company was caught unprepared mainly because they thought they would never need to have the facility to allow remote working because the majority of workers were production line staff. However, a combination of personal circumstances and the government directive on social distancing meant the company had to find ways for a small number of admin based staff to work from home.
To compound matters, a distraught company director explained to us that company had not really maintained its IT infrastructure and hardware and had needed to apply software upgrades to the laptops staff would need to enable remote working. These factors, and a lack of in-house IT expertise caused irrevocable damage when one of its employees unwittingly downloaded a virus. Unfortunately, the virus was able to infiltrate the company server and began erasing files.
Sadly, we were not able to help the company recover their files as they had also neglected to do regular data back-ups, but they now realise the damage this has caused and are now taking expert advice and using the services Link ICT can provide to help them to develop disaster recovery processes and to operate in a more secure manner.
In order to ensure the above scenario does not happen to Link ICT clients, we ensure strict security measures are in place and provide IT support on a regular basis to ensure security is maintained. Our ongoing IT risk management advice also helps to mitigate scenarios that might affect business continuity. These include:
- Offsite backup services and Disaster Recovery planning
- Connection to the company network is securely protected by Remote Desktop Gateway with Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) or VPN (Virtual Private Network)
- Network security audits
- Software updates routinely applied
- Hierarchical access to files based on user account
- Staff are trained to ensure a greater awareness of suspect files
- Strict protocols and limitation for file sharing and access
- End user device encryption to reduce risk of company data loss
- Communication via secure email with Microsoft 365
If you would like to learn more about how Link ICT can help your business provide secure systems and equipment to enable your employees to work and collaborate remotely please get in touch.