Preparing for the return to the workplace – What new challenges could it bring?

Quick tips to keep your data protected.

This time last year employers were plunged into a situation whereby they quickly needed to make adjustments to their business, to get staff in a position to be able to work from home. So as the UK looks forward to resuming a state of almost normality later this year, the shift in focus for businesses will now be, what do they need to do to get staff safely back into the workplace, however this being two fold, how can they ensure it’s safe for the staff, but also safe for their business.

For most IT companies, the workload over the last 12 months has been hectic, from the initial increase in demands for laptops, the rise in requests for cloud solutions, as well as the ongoing and consistent increase of support calls to helpdesks.

The expectation now is that the demands on IT companies could change somewhat as potentially staff will be bringing devices back into the workplace that may be insecure due to a lapse in cybersecurity, while they have been used for multi-purposes over the last 12 months at home.

There is a strong chance that employees may have used business laptops and PC’s for personal use. Think about social networking, weekly zoom catch-up with friends, music streaming, homeschooling applications, using these kinds of applications alongside professional applications, increases the risk of cybercrime and potentially could bring harmful malware into the workplace.

Quick Tips – For the return to the workplace

  • The advice from an IT perspective would be to encourage any personal laptops to be left at home. If it is imperative for an employee to continue using the same device while in the workplace, then at least ensure an IT professional has checked and secured it first.
  • For business PC‘s and laptops, these will need to be updated on return and checks carried out to ensure all software patches and updates have been installed. It is possible the reminders to update the antivirus for example have been ignored, while in the home environment.
  • Refresh staff on data security protocol, what to look out for, suspicious links in emails, and the importance of locking their PC’s when moving away from their desks.
  • Avoid using personal social media platforms on business devices.

In conclusion the return to the workplace could be more problematic than the quick changes made to be able to work at home, each business will need to react differently dependant on their circumstances. It is important that data security is not overlooked and organisations that have concerns should think about seeking advice.