Remote working is becoming the norm for businesses up and down the country with 58% of companies now offering flexible working arrangements to their staff. With the average person spending more than one hour a day commuting to their place of work, remote working and other flexible working arrangements unlock a variety of benefits on the productivity front. Over half of people surveyed said they would be more productive if they had the opportunity to work outside of the office. But as the number of remote workers increases, concerns regarding cyber security are being raised.

Whether your entire workforce or just part of it works remotely being aware of the following cyber security tips will ensure the data, equipment and processes you hold dear don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Keep a handle on devices

Securing the devices your remote workforce uses is the first and easiest step to implement, yet so many take the use and update of anti-virus programs for granted. Your hardware should have up-to-date security in place. In fact, making the use and update of anti-virus, web filtering, firewalls and device encryption mandatory as part of your cyber security policy is vital.

Mobile devices, laptops and other hardware must be sufficiently protected not just on the anti-virus front, but also with secure password protection. Strong passwords are a subject that is covered time and time again by IT security specialists like ourselves, and for good reason. As well as protecting the data within from hackers, a strong password ensures devices and systems remain fully protected even if devices are lost or stolen. Removable devices, such as USB sticks, must also be checked for security purposes by your IT support provider to ensure they are not a source of malware.

Advise against public Wi-Fi use

Working from cafes and other establishments is a popular choice for remote workers but from a security point of view public Wi-Fi use is a big no-no. Use of public Wi-Fi can leave devices, particularly unprotected ones, vulnerable to malicious attack. As part of your cyber security policy, we would therefore advise that remote workers use only trusted networks. If avoiding public Wi-Fi isn’t an option, workers should avoid completing sensitive or business critical tasks when in use.

The same theory applies to the use of public computers. When using public computers, be sure not to click the ‘remember me’ or ‘save information’ options. It is also advisable to clear your history and delete downloads before the browser is closed.

Make email encryption a priority

There are countless project management applications available for use that are perfect for connecting offices with their remote workers but still email is the most used and easily accessible technology for communications. When using email to communicate business critical information with your workers be sure to use best practice encryption applications. Staff should also be trained to identify email based cyber threats such as phishing emails.

Want to improve cyber security across your workforce? Get in touch with our IT Support team today on 01536 216146 to discuss your options.

A specialist IT Company based in Corby, Northamptonshire, Syntec Systems provide expert IT Solutions and IT Support services to businesses in the local area. Syntec Systems specialise in IT Management, IT Consultancy and IT Procurement, and their experienced technicians also offer a 24/7 helpdesk service to help resolve untimely IT Issues for all businesses with no prior contract.