Keeping your data secure in times of business as unusual

In a more decentralised workspace, how do you ensure that your company data stays protected?

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Building a secure remote working organisation

Read Canon’s guide to understand the strategies for detecting and preventing security threats in the evolving workspace.

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Working remotely in times of business as unusual

At the start of 2020, as we made predictions for a new decade, 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 hybrid working practices are set to become a reality for many.

Suddenly that digital transformation you were building up step-by-step became an immediate necessity. But as necessity shifts to strategy, how do you ensure your business critical information is not only flowing as it should be, but also remains protected in the new hybrid working world?

Working remotely

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 was the feast they had 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 – if your teams are now working from home, co-working spaces or remotely, 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 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 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 remotely 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:

  • What level of visibility do you have across your document processes at the moment?
  • Are you able to track user activity?
  • What protection is currently applied to documents as they move in and out of the organisation in order to minimise security risks?
  • Are you confident that only authorised users are accessing sensitive data?
  • 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.

Canon have a suite of award winning cloud based solutions that can help you to 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 these times of business as unusual.

Learn more about the strategies for detecting and preventing workspace security threats.

Additional Resources

The workspace has been redefined, but businesses need to ensure they’ve empowered their workforce to continue working productively.

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