Covid-19 has had a huge impact on us all. In the months following March 2020, high street stores were forced to close their doors, travel was heavily restricted, and employees were asked to work from home where possible. For many, this meant an almost overnight requirement to embrace remote working. ActionPoint has been helping companies transition to remote working environments for years. We were intrigued to find out how companies had adapted.
In April, just over two months into lockdown, we conducted a survey with a view to better understanding how organisations and workers in Ireland were adjusting to a new way of working. What we discovered was that fewer than 50% of respondents had a remote working policy in place prior to the pandemic. Despite this, almost 80% of respondents rated their organisations’ ability to work remotely as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. While this is encouraging, it’s important to realise that robust remote working and security policies are needed in the longer term.
Q: With regard to Cyber Security, which of the following policies does your company have in place? Survey results above.
The Elephant in the Room – Security and Remote Working
This month, we published the findings of our survey as part of ‘The Covid-19 Remote Working Report’ (download for free at the end of the page). In our survey we asked over 2,000 Irish workers about how they are adapting to remote working life. We asked about the challenges, the benefits, the policies in place, the remote working tools being used and plans moving forward.
One area that we are very interested in is security. We are hearing a lot about the many benefits of remote working – the flexibility, no commute, better work/life balance. A less discussed topic involves the security policies that companies have adopted. This is cause for concern. Without proper security policies in place, remote workers are at risk.
While we are massive advocates of remote working, it has to be managed correctly. If your employees are working from home, using a home broadband connection, you must make the assumption that the connection is not secure. When you are in an office environment, you are able to actively manage and monitor the connection. This is not the case when your team is working remotely. With employees no longer in the perceived safe office environment they also become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. In March alone research firm Barracuda Networks reported that phishing emails spiked by over 600%. All of this means that data protection, device protection, business continuity, and password security are all the more important. In remote working conversations, security is the elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.
Download the Report for Free
For more on this and to find out more about how Irish workers are adapting to remote working, check out The Covid-19 Remote Working Report from ActionPoint. Click here to download your free copy.