Cybersecurity in the Digital Office

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A woman working from home.

For many companies and individuals, the “office” is no longer defined as a physical location and has evolved into what is known as the digital office.

What is a digital office?

A digital office is the systems, software and processes staff of a company utilise to perform their job role; Work from Home (WFH) is the most common use of a digital office seen today.

The digital office offers numerous advantages for both employees and companies. Research shows a 56% reduction in unproductive time when working from home compared to a physical office, a cost reduction in company overheads and a general increase in employee satisfaction. However, it also presents new challenges in protecting company data and systems from threat actors.

When most companies were forced to move to the digital office due to COVID-19, many were unaware of the additional cyber security risks associated with this shift. As the workforce continues to embrace the benefits and flexibility of the digital office, it’s important for companies to understand and most importantly mitigate these potential risks.

The Risks and How to Mitigate them

Personal devices

The Risks

You can’t secure what you can’t see or control, and staff use their personal computers to access company resources. Questions arise: Are the hardware updated and have the latest patches? Do they have antivirus protection? Who has access to these devices? How do you stop people from using personal devices if they have a company-issued device (known as shadow IT)?

The Solution

The optimal approach involves equipping staff with a managed corporate issue device that allows remote patching and security management to access company resources. Additionally, hosted desktop environments like Citrix, AVD or Remote Desktop allow staff more flexibility with the device used for access while keeping company data secure.

Home networks

The Risks

Many remote workers use Internet of Things (IoT) devices. These include smart speakers, home security systems, and thermostats. These devices can introduce vulnerabilities to your home network if not properly secured.

The Solution

To counter this risk, make sure to change the default passwords on your IoT devices. Also, keep them updated with the latest firmware.

Besides that, basic home network security guidelines are available online that can help you significantly improve your network security.

Moreover, software solutions such as VPN’s can also increase the security of work data accessed from a home network.

User Education

If you were to ask ten cybersecurity professionals about the greatest cyber risk in an environment, nine out of ten would point to users. This is not because people are malicious, lazy or apathetic about cyber security. Instead, many are not provided with help and education to spot and avoid cyber incidents.

Providing the tools and education to empower your staff in cyber security will likely provide greater protection than the other solutions presented here.

Stay secure

These are just some of the ways you can help stay secure. The benefits of embracing the digital office can vastly outweigh the potential downsides, provided you are cognizant of your cyber security risk and implement solid solutions, policies and educational initiatives.

If you want to know more about digital office security or cyber solutions for your work, contact Netier today!

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Bouncing back from a cyber attack: Building resilience for a growing business

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