Most businesses today use remote working to some extent throughout the working day. Even those without a culture or need to offer remote working will have employees or directors taking work home, or working from hotel suites, conference venues and public transport at times.

This more casual form of remote working, is often missed in cyber security policies and procedures. However, it’s one important factor that can put organisations at risk of cyber attacks and data breaches.

To maintain security, first, understand where your business is at risk. Then, cyber security policies need to include the specific risks associated with remote working, with procedures and guidance in place for working away from the office. Here are some important security reminders:

1. Keep Mobile Devices & Laptops Safe

Lost and stolen mobile devices and laptops are easy targets for cyber criminals if insufficient security measures are in place. The first line of defence is to look after these business assets. Next, secure the devices themselves with password best practice and encryption on laptops.

2. Password Best Practice

Good password best practice includes using long passwords with multi-characters, two-step authentication processes, and unique passwords for different systems and logins. They protect your devices and systems being accessed if a mobile or laptop is lost or stolen, they also protect businesses from hackers.

3. Maintain Up-To-Date Security

Any devices should be properly protected with antivirus, web filtering, firewalls, device encryption and other preventative software, but so should your employees’ own devices if they’re using them for remote working.

4. Use Of Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi can be vulnerable to malicious attack, presenting issues for those employees who may need to work from a hotel or conference. Your remote working/cyber security policy should stipulate that employees should not use public Wi-Fi for any sensitive, business critical activities.

5. Email Encryption & Best Practice

Email is likely the most used digital technology by staff members who are away from the office, and one that can open a backdoor to hackers. Encryption and robust management of corporate email is a must.

6. Using Devices When Out & About

Employees should also be aware of physical threats when using devices when in public places like cafes, hotels, airports etc. Just as you would hide your PIN when using an ATM, employees should be discreet when keying in passwords and logging into systems.

7. Removable Devices

USB sticks and other removable devices can be a source of malware and should be checked by your IT department first. For example, many conferences hand out USB sticks that may be infected, often unbeknown to the organisers.

8. Monitoring & Policy Enforcement

24/7 network monitoring and security will help your organisation identify threats and monitor users on your networks.