Is your network security up-to-scratch and able to cope with the demands of remote working?

With more people working from home as part of their regular working day, network security is more important than ever. At TLP we have taken every essential step to ensure ours and our clients security is as fool proof as it can possibly be: 

  • Strong passwords: to ward off hackers and unwanted visitors
  • Increased security steps: by using a remote desktop gateway we are able to access office pc’s from any location
  • Thorough PC auditing: to ensure all anti-virus software is up-to-date 
  • Encryption: enabling Bitlocker to encrypt the hard disk on remote devices

Should employees be using work laptops rather than their own?

As an employer there are numerous benefits to ensuring your staff are all working from laptops you provide and manage; the fundamental one being that you retain control over the laptop connecting to your office network. In this way, you can ensure the laptop is set up in a secure way with adequate passwords, antivirus software and full encryption to keep your company information confidential. 

As part of our post-Covid work-from-home security checks, we are taking steps to ensure that all of our client’s laptops meet the stringent security standards we abide by for our own computer security.

The importance of a strong password

Strong passwords are the first line of defence against unauthorised access to your computers. They are essential to keep your confidential details safe from hackers, viruses and malicious bots that can threaten your security, disrupt your business, and cause countless damage to your brand reputation. Sophisticated password-guessing bots mean it’s becoming easier for automated systems to guess and gain access to your information. Fortunately, setting a strong password does not have to be difficult. We advise all of our clients to ensure their passwords meet the following criteria, to give them the best defence possible:

  • The more characters, the better. Aim for at least 8-10 – more if possible 
  • Mix up your cases. A mix of upper- and lower-case letters will create a stronger password
  • Don’t be bound by letters. Use numbers too
  • Remember your character keys and include at least one special character, for example., @?!%

Antivirus and internet security protocols

Just as important as ensuring all passwords are strong, is making sure your antivirus and internet security is up to date. By ensuring you have comprehensive antivirus software for your employees’ laptops you are limiting the potential for your business to fall victim to cybercrime and preventing hackers stealing sensitive business information. Strong antivirus software will help protect you against ransomware attacks, malware, spyware and other types of security breach. Whatever your company policy on using business laptops for personal use, there is always going to be a greater risk of staff accessing sites from home that they wouldn’t do from the office, making antivirus even more important.

Reliance on a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

By utilising a VPN, you can ensure that all staff and employees, who are home working will be logging on to your office network in the most secure way. A VPN uses two-factor authentication and gives online privacy by creating a way to access a private network (your work) from a public internet connection (your employees homes). Data is scrambled via encryption to make it unreadable to anyone trying to access it who does not have authorisation. It’s like the internet equivalent of preventing someone from eavesdropping in on your conversation. There are other benefits of a VPN too – they can hide information such as your browsing history and IP address and can help protect against identity theft by protecting the information you share or access using your device. 

We use a VPN to secure access to your machines and recommend them for their excellent security benefits. 

What does the future of remote working look like?

It has been almost two years since the first lockdown. Many businesses have had their staff working from home for most, or all, of this time and many those that have chosen to have their staff return to the office are doing it on a flexible, more hybrid basis. While a few years ago it would have seemed absurd to think that the majority of the UK workforce was working from home, it’s become more commonplace and is likely to be something that we see continue. At TLP Technology we offer specific support to our clients to ensure that, if they have employees working remotely, they are doing so safely and securely. From establishing a strong VPN to ensuring all antivirus software is up-to-date and passwords are strong enough to protect against unwelcome visitors – both human and robotic – you can rest safe in the knowledge that your workplace security is as strong as it would be from a remote location as it would be from your main office.