Businesses are now settled into the routine of working from home and many will continue to do so (or at least have staff doing so) for some time to come. Antonio Fletcher, Partner at Brachers considers why it’s important to move from the ‘rush to keep working’ phase, and properly consider: Are we doing home working properly?
Employee health and wellbeing are the obvious ways this needs to be addressed, but have you considered the potential security risks of working from home?
Many employees are unused to working from home: using unfamiliar work practices, perhaps operating from their own personal computers, while also bearing more stress than they usually would, which means instances of human error – the common cause of security breaches – are increasingly occurring.
It’s therefore vital that you review your policies and procedures for good cyber security and ensure that your staff are aware of what is expected of them. Consider, if your organisation was previously completely office based, are the policies even fit for working from home? Do they consider the safety implications of using individuals’ personal computers? Do they have a requirement to install appropriate malware protection? Is there anything about the provision of business hardware?
Policies should also be mindful of the requirements of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and data protection regulations. It’s important to remember that in the event of a data breach the business is still required to report this to the ICO within the usual 72-hour window and for data subject access requests to be responded to within one month.
Once your policies and procedures are up-to-date, share them with employees, with regular reminders highlighting key aspects for them to focus on and be aware of.
Finally, consider offering cyber security training to help raise – and maintain – awareness. This can be carried out even by staff on furlough, and should be a good investment for the future of your organisation.
Author, Antonio Fletcher, Partner, Employment Team, Brachers