With the COVID-19 global pandemic becoming more widespread, many businesses across the world have activated work-from-home practices to minimise the spread of this highly infectious virus. For Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower has advised employers to conduct regular temperature checks, split staff members into different teams and allow them to work from home after the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) alert for the coronavirus was raised to Orange.
Infectious disease aside, working from home can have its own set of safety issues – problems with cybersecurity. Read on to find out how you can protect yourself and your company’s confidential information when working from home.
For some, working from home does have its perks. Not only can you work in the comfort of your own home, you can also avoid crowds and traffic that come with the commute. A flexible schedule and comfortable environment allows you to focus more on important work instead of worrying about the little things such as what to wear or finding a conference room to make a call, thus resulting in higher productivity levels.
Despite these pros, working from home can pose risks to an organisation’s security. Some of these risks include:
Using personal devices for work
When it comes to working from home, many people tend to use their personal devices to shuffle between personal and work matters. A survey by Heimdal Security showed that at least 46% of employees transfer files between their work and personal laptops when working from home. This is a cause for concern as our personal devices are often not properly secured. Our apps may not have the latest updates and security patches or anti-virus software, leaving confidential information at risk.
Having work-related documents and information on a personal device also means that losing these devices may also indirectly jeopardise sensitive company data.
More online data sharing
While employees can communicate face-to-face in the office, working from home means more data sharing through messaging, email and other file sharing applications. If these platforms are not secure, data can be easily compromised. BusinessNewsDaily highlights how the idea of Shadow IT (the practice of staff using IT solutions that are not officially implemented and approved by an organisation), combined with the carelessness of corporate employees, can put a company at risk and result in severe consequences.
Lastly, working from home can also give rise to multiple issues relating to information and data breaches especially since employees access corporate accounts over unsecured public or home wifi. Home wifi networks may be private and password-protected but this does not mean that it is entirely secure.
In a survey done by Imation Corp, 44% of respondents said that data was never encrypted when taken out of the office and 3 in 10 remote workers admitted they did not protect their data with passwords. Unprotected wifi networks are essentially open gates to cyber security breaches as cyber criminals are able to spy, intercept and harvest confidential information such as company credentials, passwords and or peek into embargoed projects.
Stick to official devices issued by the workplaceInstill basic cyber hygiene by sticking to devices provided by the office, or at best try to refrain from mixing personal and professional on a personal device. If this is not possible, do put a strong password and encrypt all work and personal accounts to boost security.
Installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) ensures a secure connection to another network over the Internet, and keeps your information and browsing activity protected from prying eyes. Find out how it works here.
Canon provides useful, secure and convenient online solutions, which include Canon Therefore™ ONLINE, a document management platform that allows for employees to securely access information anytime, anywhere. Customisable security and access permissions also ensure that private and confidential information do not fall in the wrong hands.
Customisable security and access permissions also ensure that private and confidential information do not fall in the wrong hands. These solutions ensure that data access and data sharing remain protected and encrypted, granting peace of mind when working from home. Find out more about how Canon Therefore™ ONLINE can secure your business processes by reaching out to us here.
Besides paying attention to your personal hygiene, remember to also practice good cyber hygiene especially during this COVID-19 season. Many problems with security can be mitigated by being vigilant and utilising secure platforms such as Canon Therefore™ ONLINE, which also help keep processes secure and streamlined. Protect yourself and your company’s data with the above tips!
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