Remote Workers Warned of Data Security Vulnerability

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2020 has introduced a wide range of new economic challenges, and many are addressing these challenges through the implementation of new remote working policies.

However, the online privacy and digital anonymity experts at Liberty Shield are urging businesses, entrepreneurs, and organisations to also consider the data security risks posed by at home working.

A major problem linked to the rise of remote working during the COVID-19 outbreak is that many employees have been rapidly forced into home working environments without necessary training or preparation. Using home Wi-Fi networks to send and receive confidential business data could expose organisations to data breaches and attacks. A 2019 report by the Cyber Rescue Alliance found that 90% of executives believed their organisation was missing at least one vital resource to protect against cyber attacks. The risks of being ill prepared are greater during a pandemic.

Greg Murphy, Group Manager for Liberty Shield said,

“Since the beginning of lockdown, we’ve seen a sharp rise in the number of business owners and technology managers contacting us with data security concerns.  A common scenario is that remote workers have unwittingly exposed business critical data, and what we’re finding is that in almost all cases, the staff involved have been failing to run VPNs. This is not surprising given the sudden shift to remote working but, it is something that urgently needs to be addressed nationwide.

“Even before the pandemic, Government figures showed that around one third of businesses suffer a cyber attack every year. With none of the usual safeguards of the office in place, it’s vital that adequate measures to protect sensitive material and private data are now deployed.”

The latest advice from Liberty Shield to business and entrepreneurs comes at a time when the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is warning of COVID-19 being exploited by malicious cyber actors.

In a joint statement issued by the NCSC along with both the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the government department warns that ‘advanced persistent threat groups and cyber criminals are targeting individuals, small and medium businesses, and large organisations with COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails’.

The Liberty Shield VPN network runs 256-bit military grade encryption with zero logging, ensuring that data can be sent, received, and accessed safely and securely. And while VPN use is emerging as an essential tool for protecting businesses throughout the pandemic, it is also being highlighted as a necessity in navigating the future ‘new normal’.

With research from insights firm Gartner suggesting that three quarters of organisations are planning to continue with remote working after lockdown, it has never been more important to ensure staff have what they need to work safely.