Keeping your data secure in times of business as unusual

With the lines between office and remote working becoming blurred, how do you ensure that your company data stays protected?

At the start of 2020, as we looked ahead at our year, few of us could have imagined where we’d be now or what scale of transformation we’d be facing. But the reality is that the world is changing and in a way that is challenging our businesses like never before. We’re being compelled to adapt in order to survive and working from home has become the new norm for many.

Suddenly that digital transformation you were building up step-by-step has become an immediate necessity. But with little time to prepare for such a situation, how do you ensure your business critical information is not only flowing as it should be, but also remains protected in this business as unusual environment?

Managing information is a risky business

The need to protect your sensitive data hasn’t gone away with this new world view. In fact, the requirement for robust security protocols and appropriate use regulations is stronger than ever. So, what remote security challenges might you be facing and how can you go about tackling them? Here are some of our top security tips for safer remote working

1. Secure your remote working policy

cyber criminals are always on the lookout for new opportunities and this rapid global change is just the feast they’ve been waiting for. They are experienced in looking at a network to see whether someone is just a home user or a business user working at home. So, if you aren’t helping to protect your employees with a secure remote working policy, you could soon find yourself with widespread data loss or even blocked from your important files with a hefty fee to pay to regain access.

2. Be extra wary of phishing attacks

Industry reports have shown a significant rise in bogus emails1 claiming to offer important updates on safety, which instead infect the user’s device with malware. Make sure your remote employees know to be cautious of emails offering this kind of advice, checking who the sender is and that their email address exactly matches an expected recipient. And if someone is asking them to click on an unknown link, to think twice before opening it.

3. Don’t forget about home device security

With your team working from home, it’s most likely that they’ll need to use whatever printer or scanner they have available for their daily tasks and these devices probably aren’t going to have the standard security features provided by your corporate network equipment. Any device connected to the internet is more vulnerable to potential attack, so, to safeguard your business critical data, you need to give your remote workers support in ensuring that their network is private and can only be accessed with a secure password – by changing it away from the default password, for example.

4. And confidential paperwork

To that same end, you need to ensure they’re treating company paperwork with the same care as they would their own bank statements, making sure they shred or safely store anything confidential until they’re able to return to the office.

5. The best policy is to have one

Document security is critical, so working from home doesn’t mean company policies can be relaxed. It’s important to remind your team to only use applications, networks and cloud systems provided by the business. Any free cloud collaboration and storage tools they might be tempted to use may not be secure if they’ve not been vetted by you.

The key take away here is that if any of your team is working remotely, you need to make sure that they have a clear understanding of how to maintain the same standard of business security awareness, whether they’re in the four walls of the office or sat on their sofa.

Building a secure remote working organisation

So, now that we’ve established the importance of document security for remote working, how do you go about building your overarching protection strategy?

The good news is, it’s a lot less complicated than you think. Armed with the knowledge that vital information doesn’t just leak out of businesses through complex internet-enabled attacks, but often through a lack of simple data security processes, now is the time to review your information management approach and get secure remote working practices in place.

You need to be confident you can secure your business documents and protect sensitive information whist still maintaining compliance with document management regulations. And all of this without impacting people’s ability to access the data, information and documents they require to do their job.

You should consider storage, management, distribution and archives as the critical factors in your information security setup. Ask yourself:

  1. What level of visibility do you have across your document processes at the moment?
  2. Are you able to track user activity?
  3. What protection is currently applied to documents as they move in and out of the organisation in order to minimise security risks?
  4. Are you confident that only authorised users are accessing sensitive data?
  5. Can you be sure that all your digital data is only stored for the legally mandated time period?

If you struggle to answer any of these questions or the answer is no, then you need to look for a secure document management and workflow solution. Ask your potential providers to address these areas to make sure that you’re mitigating the risks of data loss and costly fines, or contact one of our Canon experts for advice on how you can tackle some of these challenges.

You need a system that can run in the cloud and manage your workflow, giving you the ability to fully monitor and audit business critical information, offer secure protection for your documents and set deletion policies to comply with legislation.

Organisations, more than ever before, can learn not only to survive but thrive in the world we now know as our new-normal.

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