New Year – New Security Implications
A New Year usually heralds the onset of new motivations and resolutions. Also, its usually a time for reflection, and for amends to be made. 2021 may be slightly different, as the business landscape has been decimated by a global pandemic that has caused more deaths in 12 months in the UK than at any time since 1944. Businesses large and small have had to adapt to working environments and working practices like never before.
New sets of challenges have forced innovation and strategic thinking, not just in the delivery of products and services but also in the adherence to business policies. Strategy has been replaced in many instances by survival mode, and thoughts of product or service development have, in most instances had to be put on hold.
Of course, personal safety has been paramount in the last year, hence the huge number of people working from home, but there are fundamental business practices that have needed to be maintained. Security should be very high on the list but can easily have been overlooked.
Replacing IT Equipment
During lockdown, as there was minimal time to prepare for home working. Many people simply picked up household IT equipment and utilised this for business use. The responsible IT security protocol would cover security at all points of device access, including replacement and disposal. Again, these protocols have been somewhat difficult to adhere to under current restrictions. This does not mean of course that these need to be looked at as soon as is practical, and staff need to be aware that any equipment that has been used to access VPN’s or any shared business data needs to be considered for ongoing security issues.
Hackers Work From Home Anyway
Hackers of sensitive business data have been proactive for many years, and almost perfected their arts of breaking into systems or accessing used IT equipment to recover data that can be of value to them. Just imagine the increase in opportunities made available over the last 12 months, which must have whet their appetites to some easy pickings. Where historically an Enterprise class organisation may have had strict security protocols governing data and device access and disposal, suddenly many staff are working from home, on their own personal devices and are most likely to be using a home network rather than a secure business network. No VPN available in most instances and, even worse, the use and disposal of IT equipment can be very high risk to say the least.
A quick device reset and then sold on to friends or family, or even worse, dropped into the waste bins can offer huge opportunities to even the amateur hacker and there will be instances of this happening even in the largest of organisations.
These are fundamental issues which can be very easily overlooked. The pandemic arrived very quickly and gave no time for businesses to prepare. All hands to the pump to preserve business continuity was the order of the day. But now that things have become a little more calm, and the light at the end of the tunnel is bright, may we suggest that it’s time to look at IT security and IT asset disposal as a key issue that may well have been neglected over the last year or so.
tier1 would be delighted to review your current IT security strategies and make suggestions or implementations that will be appropriate when people do return to office working, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.
Contact us today on 0161 777 1000 or visit https://www.tier1.com to find out how we can help.