Information systems play a crucial role in ensuring a company’s smooth operation. It guarantees a real-time count of supplies and automates replenishment to not cause hiccups in production. They maintain a record of customers for service-oriented businesses, allow finance and accounting divisions to easily generate financial statements for the CEO whenever he has to present how well the business is coping to the board and shareholders. Information systems undeniably serve as the lifeblood of businesses.
With the pandemic pushing us physically apart and forcing people to work remotely, there’s a growing need to ensure efficient and constant coordination even when we meet only online. In a matter of days, the IT of companies had to deal with the inevitable need to shift accessibility of local networks to the homes of employees. With the lockdowns seemingly a shock to all, most companies proceeded without a cybersecurity contingency plan and only later implemented measures to prevent breaches to their systems.
These pre-maturely built setups have become easy gateways for cyber-terrorists, their recent victim being law firms, to implant malware and anything that compromises valuable data. For a business that should only be focusing on recovering from an economic downturn, succumbing to a hacking crisis that can cost millions to repair and compensate clients whose confidentiality has been violated would be too much to bear. What are fortified ways by which they can avoid these incidents, and remote workers can actively partake in protecting the company’s information systems? We have it all laid down for you.
It’s important to revisit the company’s VPN to enable employees to work even through an unsecured Wi-Fi connection if this is unavoidable at the moment. Add a layer of protection to your VPN using two or multi-factor authentication. Firewalls and other essential software can likewise be protected using encryption software, preventing unauthorized users.
Revisiting the company’s firewall and anti-malware subscriptions is also important. They can shoulder the expenses in updating the protective software on their employees’ devices. There are platforms by which these updates can be done remotely.
IT professionals indeed need to be on the edges of their seats in monitoring the forts to their company’s information systems. They are responsible for transforming it to be better suited for remote work by creating secure and high-capacity company portals, for instance. Also, it would be wise to have an efficient service desk that can assist workstation issues and monitor potential threats round the clock.
To ensure these implemented mechanisms don’t experience any downtime, it’s crucial to optimize the company’s servers. This is possible by investing in the best uninterruptible power supply (UPS) specifically for data centres. IT companies accelerated the production of modular and more energy-efficient ones to fit the ever-dynamic needs of businesses.
The Role of Employees
Being at the front-end of system interfaces, handling client data, and even digital assets first-hand, employees can do the least by securing a secure home Wi-Fi connection. To ensure unfailing Wi-Fi security, they can check for pending software updates and encrypting features integrated into their routers. They should also make it a point to avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks at all costs.
Another thing is being cautious when using personal gadgets for work. These days, the most common are accessing the email app from their smartphone or printing official documents from their home computers, for example. Chances are, these gadgets, unlike those commissioned by the company, are more prone to hacking.
Employees can keep this from happening by refraining from the habit or, if they weren’t issued a WFH gadget, enabling the encryption features on their smartphones. USB drives should be avoided and, when sending files via email, these should be encrypted prior. As for printers, they can disable its “print from anywhere” feature.
The same is true with using their company email for personal correspondence. While they can have unknowingly subscribed to borderline spammy newsletters of websites they visited, they can have also been picking up cookies from these sites, unintentionally leaving imprints of their identity to the most random people and organizations, making them vulnerable to phishing schemes. So, as much as possible, the company email must be restricted for official use only.
Employees must be empowered to keep their work gadgets secure with locks and inaccessible to their housemates. Cybersecurity protocols such as referring any suspicious emails to the IT should be in place. Employees must also be regularly trained in the aforementioned techniques.
A company can build more or less a wall that’s impermeable to hackers. This leaves them with one major variable, the employees, who, if anything, make company-confidential data susceptible to security breaches. It is then important to involve the entire organization in the common cause of cybersecurity.