Awareness on the go

Chris Jones
By Chris Jones
Did you get a Fitbit this Christmas? Or did you just make a New Year’s resolution to get moving a bit more now that our thoughts have turned to summer plans? Perhaps you’ve just made the decision to be a bit more proactive about getting out and meeting people, either personally or professionally.
Awareness on the go

Whatever the reason, if you and your staff are planning on working while out and about there is more to keep in mind than counting calories.

As we’re getting into the subject of IT security awareness this month, we thought we’d take a look at what this means when you or your staff are on the move.

Be mindful

We’re all accustomed to sending and receiving emails that come with a ‘sent on the move’ disclaimer, but while awareness can be simple to remember when you’re in the office, it can be easy to push out of your mind once you leave the building.

Where should a business start and end when it comes to training staff? Particularly considering the multitude of regulations, standards and emerging security technologies to which organisations are beholden? No two businesses are the same, and what is policy for one company may be completely irrelevant to the employees of another.

One thing that will certainly apply to the majority of businesses is dealing with the way staff transact on mobile devices. It is estimated that more than 90% of businesses allow employees access to their business network while out and about, but how many companies have policies regarding how and when employees can access the network?

Be careful where you connect

Many places now offer free wifi in exchange for minimal personal information. But how safe are these networks? If your staff choose to take advantage of the free wifi in a popular high street coffee chain, what they are actually gaining access to is an unsecured network that hackers can very easily use to their advantage.

Far from being some dark and ominous figure lurking in the shadows in a hoodie, a hacker could be anyone you see around you. With specialist software, they can very easily intercept the information that you send and receive from your business network while you’re out and about.

Having a policy in place that covers this, either by making sure employees use a virtual private network (VPN) or by providing a list of ‘trusted’ public wifi networks, you will eliminate confusion and instantly strengthen the security of your business data.

Limit your exposure

So, between the steps counted, the calories burned and the meetings attended during 2017, perhaps the most important thing to track is how exposed your business network is to the outside world via a mobile workforce?

If in doubt, a policy that only allows network access to people on-site is the only surefire way of keeping things secure. But if, like most businesses, your team works on the move, then introducing clear policies for maintaining remote cyber security; keeping all staff aware of the dangers of unsecured networks; and providing clarity on exactly what is expected of them when they are working away from the office will mean a safer and happier New Year for all.

If you’d like more information about IT security on the go, or are interested in how we can help you with your company policies and staff training, contact us.

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