Covid-19 Working from Home and Office Security

We are fully aware that recent events have led to unprecedented circumstances forcing most businesses and employees to relocate to working from home. Whilst, to some, this will not be completely unfamiliar, for the majority, the changed working environment could pose a couple of questions about your business security and insurances.

Leaving Behind an Unoccupied Office

The circumstances of leaving an unoccupied office for days on end is not something an insurer would usually be too keen on. However, under the government advises this is now a necessity for many businesses. We would recommend that you ensure security has been considered, all access points fully locked down and if there is an alarm specification on your policy, to ensure that the alarm has been set. A further recommendation would be to make regular visits to ensure the building has not been compromised. Obviously, this recommendation is subject to the restrictions on the movement made by the government. 

Working from home – What are the threats and are you cyber secure? 

With a huge number of the population working from home at present, there is, unfortunately, even in these difficult times cyber threats and hackers on the lookout for quick wins in terms of malicious activity. 

What are the threats? 

Use of personal devices and networks – a large number of workers will have no choice but to use personal devices linked to their home networks for day to day work tasks.  In most cases, these will not have the built-in rigorous software protection measures such as anti-virus, firewalls and back-up systems provided by a business network. 

Unsecured Wi-Fi networks – most individuals will be predominantly working from their home personal space where they can secure the Wi-Fi but some may require public access Wi-Fi outside of their homes which isn’t secure and leaves you wide open to hackers and malicious activity to intervene and gather your valuable data. 

Scams and phishing emails activity – there will be a definite increase in malicious campaigns targeting those working from home. Phishing emails with infected attachments containing fictitious safety measures are prevalent – homing in on those vulnerable in this situation. 

Stay secure whilst working from home 

Adopt quick low-cost wins – enable strong passwords and multi-factor authentication where possible to add another security layer to your hard and software access. You could also look into a password manager to help when sharing and saving information, there are some cost-effective options available for business. 

Make it private 

Use a VPN which sits on the PC, laptop or mobile device and creates an encrypted network connection. A VPN set up makes it safe for the employee to access IT resources within the business and elsewhere on the internet 

Review your home working policy 

Does your current policy include home working and are you set up for this mass transition to working at home rather than in the normal business unit? You need to assess remote access management, use of personal devices, data privacy considerations.