Is my IT system still safe when I work remotely?

With remote and hybrid working set to remain the norm for the foreseeable future, one question that business owners are asking is, 'are our IT systems safe for remote workers?' SoGlos asks the experts at Cheltenham-based firm, ReformIT.

By Sarah Kent  |  Published
Are IT systems still safe when logging on from far flung destinations (or maybe just from home)? The experts at ReformIT cover all the details to put business owners' minds at rest.
In partnership with ReformIT  |  reformit.co.uk
ReformIT

ReformIT is a Cheltenham-based IT support specialist, providing expert advice to businesses all over the UK. Assisting with everything from cyber security and cloud technologies to improving broadband speed, ReformIT can tailor its services to meet individual businesses’ needs – whether it’s a fully outsourced IT department or third line support.

With most businesses now offering hybrid or remote working as standard, many owners and staff members are asking if their work laptops are safe when working from home or other locations outside of the office. 

We asked the tech experts at ReformIT for the lowdown on this type of working and how it affects IT security.

Now that many of us work either remotely or hybrid, what initial advice do you give to business owners on offering this flexibility?

They need to make sure their defences are top notch. Prioritise cyber security by implementing robust security measures such as endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication (MFA), encryption and regular security awareness training for employees. Make sure that all devices accessing the company network are equipped with up-to-date security software. 

Owners should put good home-working policies in place, too and make sure that employees know what they can and can’t do with company equipment, how to report incidents and data protection measures. You also want to be using secure end-to-end encrypted collaboration tools. 

What are the pros and cons of working remotely?

The flexibility and convenience of working from home are usually the top two reasons people ask for remote working options. It also reduces commuting and can offer a better work-life balance.

There are some security risks to be aware of, but these can be mitigated with good IT support and Cyber Essentials certification.

Internet speeds can be something to consider, too, as a slow home network connection may not be up to the demands of working from home — an upgrade might be needed to reduce downtime and increase productivity.

You mentioned potential security risks — what are they?

Both workers and owners should understand the cyber security risks associated with remote work, such as phishing attacks, malware and unsecured networks. It's essential to stay vigilant and follow security protocols to protect sensitive information.

On that note, are IT systems protected and safe when using home routers and other networks?

Using home networks can be a security risk but IT systems can still be protected with the right precautions. So secure configuration, firmware updates, network encryption, firewall protection, good antivirus, MFA and, of course, cyber awareness training.   

Can a hybrid worker's IT still be supported from home or elsewhere?

IT support can be the same for a home worker as it is for someone in the office.  As a managed service provider (MSP) we can still protect your systems, keep your workstations patched and give you remote support, should you need it. 

What if staff want to work from public places such as cafes or libraries safely?

We would also advise the use of a secure VPN if you are working remotely in a public place. Most company remote-worker policies will require this too.

How can a company like ReformIT help business owners on this topic?

Talk to your IT provider (or us) about how you can make sure your home or remote workers are protected, educated and supported, even when they aren’t in the office.

Call (01242) 236999 or visit reformit.co.uk/contact for more information or to set up a consultation.

In partnership with ReformIT  |  reformit.co.uk

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