The future of flexible working and cyber security

The pandemic showed businesses that remote working can be a success, but as cybercrime spiked, companies have turned to firms like Amiosec to help protect them.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
As we embrace remote working as part of the new normal’, Gloucestershire-based Amiosec offers its expert advice on how to protect your business from the ongoing threat of cybercrime.
As we embrace remote working as part of the ‘new normal’, Gloucestershire-based Amiosec offers its expert advice on how to protect your business from the ongoing threat of cybercrime.

Our rush to homeworking in the pandemic led to a dramatic rise in cybercrime, and with hybrid working here to stay keeping your business protected online is more important than ever.

One company that specialises in doing just that is Amiosec. SoGlos spoke to the Gloucestershire firm about how the future of flexible working will impact cyber security – and how businesses can protect themselves from threats.

Adrian Cunningham, chief technical director at Amiosec

Adrian Cunningham

Adrian Cunningham is chief technical director for Tewkesbury-based Amiosec, a UK technology company specialising in the design and development of secure mobile solutions for government and commercial organisations.

It delivers cost-effective secure mobile technology and also develops innovative solutions through its internally and externally funded research and development programmes.

According to the firm, it recognises that ‘speed, agility and flexibility’ are key drivers for its customers in the quest to address ever-changing threats and advances in technology.

Working remotely during the pandemic has seen businesses and individuals embrace technology like never before – but did that lead to the increase in cybercrime?

Working from home is becoming the new gateway to new forms of data theft. We have all noticed the increase in fraudulent email, spam and phishing together with more blatant cold, mobile-phone calling.

As individuals and as businesses, we need to remain vigilant and acutely aware of the sometimes-subtle attacks on our personal data and our business systems.

One of the biggest questions we are facing is ‘can we tackle the ever-evolving threat of cybercrime?’. The implementation of legislation and the impact of cybercrime are significant to all businesses as their responsibility to protect and manage their systems and the data contained within them becomes increasingly critical.

The threat is clearly not going away and becoming more sophisticated. Consequences can be very expensive and reputationally very damaging.

How does Amiosec help businesses handle the cyber security risks of working from home?

Amiosec’s product line allows individuals to use, handle and transmit classified and sensitive data including voice, text and email remotely, whilst working from home or on the road.

During the rush to remote working Amiosec was able to provide additional hardware together with the supporting infrastructure and managed service to allow individuals to work remotely from home without having to come into the office to ‘log on’.

This helped to create a ‘business-as-usual’ environment whereby the customer could carry on working as usual receiving and handling classified digital data, voice messages, texts and taking calls on a commercial handset in a secure home environment.

This removed the need for authorised employees to have to go into the office to access classified data and information.

As working from home becomes more the ‘norm’ this capability will become increasingly more valuable.

What else can businesses do to protect themselves from cyber threats?

Resilience against cyber threats is crucial whilst trying to improve a company’s digital security. There is now a clear need to actively protect against cyber attacks.

Awareness of the threats and how to recognise these – whether through spam email, phishing, cold calling and more – is paramount. Training and regular reminders of the threats are essential.

An educated and informed workforce can be the first line of defence together with the appropriate tools, including encrypted laptops, mobile phones and USB sticks.

Managing the corporate risk and having the systems and protective mechanisms in place is essential. Amiosec provides the ‘tools’ to allow its customers and staff to work from home on its phones and computers safely.

How does Amiosec tailor its services to deliver what individual businesses need to tackle ever-evolving cyber threats?

Understanding the customer needs and the ability to remain agile is critical to Amiosec.

Each customer has a different need so listening to the customer and responding quickly and appropriately is critical to minimise any downtime with the aim to avoid it all together.

Understanding the customers concerns and applying the appropriate fix, together with ongoing support as the threat changes, are vital to any business.

What should businesses be asking of their partners, customers and clients to reduce cyber security risks?

What security systems to do you have in place? What regulations and standards apply to the nature of your business? Is all of your sensitive data identified? What are your high-risk systems and platforms? Do you provide security awareness training for staff? Are you regularly scanning all the data on your network, including back-ups and archive malware? Do you have and maintain a comprehensive incident response plan? How would a security breach affect your business?

What advice would you give to businesses that are yet to fully invest in cyber security?

Cyber security is important because it protects all categories of data from theft and damage. This includes sensitive data, personally identifiable information, intellectual property and government and industry information amongst others.

Some companies do not fully understand their vulnerabilities, or are choosing not to do anything to address them.

Companies like Amiosec take cyber security very seriously as this is at the heart of its core business.

With its client and very sophisticated product base, having a company to hand to help fight cyber attacks and to deal with and take cyber security seriously, is vital to the health of any company.

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