It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that remote working, or WFH for work from home, quickly became the norm this year. Although we didn’t really expect it to last so long, it’s now a new reality that most, if not everyone, has to deal with for an indefinite period of time. Numbers don’t lie, 59% of Canadians now work from home. Not only that, it seems that WFH is now trendy, possibly making this temporary situation a more permanent one. But changing our work habits to suddenly work at home overnight is not easy and brings its own share of unexpected challenges. You certainly don’t want to lose your data because your IT infrastructure isn’t adapted to this new reality. This is why you need to ask yourself what you would do if you suddenly lost all your data. What’s the value of your data? Could you continue to run your company without your performance suffering from it?

The risks of remote working

For starters, most people didn’t bring with them their work computer or were simply not able to for several reasons (they don’t have a laptop, for example). To remedy the situation, people started to use their own personal device for work. This practice is called Bring your own device or BYOD. It represents a major security risk for businesses, because it means the workstations of your employees are probably being used by other persons, like a significant other, kid, nephew, etc. and there’s most likely no adapted security solutions installed. Therefore, this practice puts the network at risk by the use of non managed equipment, which makes the computers a potential target for hackers. Not only that, having data at several different places increases the chances of an attack or loss of efficiency. You should also take into consideration the fact that the data of your employees is not being saved on the corporate network, so if an employee quits or something happens to their computer, your company will lose their data.

Customized security solutions for your business

Thankfully, these new security challenges are not insurmountable. Because security solutions aren’t all equivalent, you need to find the ones that will work the best for the reality of your business. However, shopping for cybersecurity solutions quickly becomes a complex adventure that requires a deep knowledge of the subject. FXTI is here to help you in your journey. After all, we don’t have a one size fits all approach since each company is unique.

You don’t want to stop your operations or worse, lose your business because investing in cybersecurity was not a priority. In 2018, 53% of SMEs have experienced a breach. That’s a lot. It means that more than one in two SMBs were successfully hacked. The fact that this was already a problem before the start of the pandemic just makes the situation even more critical today. Indeed, we saw a significant increase in phishing since the beginning of the pandemic. Hackers know that most people are now working from home and that they are easy targets. Just in April, Google Threat Analysis Group (TAG) reported that they had to block 18 million malware and phishing emails about COVID-19 per day.

That being said, there are several IT solutions to ensure that you keep performing smoothly while your employees are working from home. The solution is easier if you make mandatory the use of the corporate equipment and, truthfully, this is the easiest way to manage the right to privacy and cyber risks (if your network is secure obviously). If that’s not possible, we can help you transform your network and find new safe practices to adopt.

Virtualizing your servers is a good idea if your employees plan to continue working on their personal devices. That way, they will be working on the cloud servers of the corporate environment. That means you’d be moving from an infrastructure where your servers are on-premise with cybersecurity solutions that are alike to a cloud-based infrastructure with solutions adapted to it. Thus, all data will be in the cloud and not directly in your employees’ personal devices. What’s really interesting about cloud-computing solutions is that most of them are now offering monthly subscription plans, which means that you won’t have to spend upfront a big sum of money and you can quickly be up and running. You must not forget to add another layer of security such as a next-generation firewall, antivirus and malware protection, etc. and everything should be secure. With all that, your data will be safe from cyber threats. Also, another good practice in WFH is to add MFA (multi-factor authentication), since it confirms that the users are really working at their post. This is important considering there’s no way to validate someone’s identity when they work from home, since no one can see them coming in or they don’t have to use their access card, for example.

Each business has its unique set of challenges and threats. It’s therefore important to understand them to implement solutions that really work for you. If you’re not sure, we can help you with our expertise and set up a plan suited to you. Each situation is unique, but you don’t always have to start afresh which can be costly and intimidating. And if you do have to start afresh because your IT infrastructure is obsolete or maladjusted, we can personalize our solutions to suggest the best products possible while respecting your situation and budget.

Why you should care

To conclude, the pandemic and WFH new norm can bring new challenges to your business that you never thought you had to worry about before. More than ever, you need to protect your business and its data with the best IT security solutions to give you greater peace of mind. If you have concerns about the cybersecurity of your company, we invite you to contact us.

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