As lockdown restrictions continue to ease, many businesses are preparing to reopen their doors for a new hybrid type of working.

It’s no doubt that being forced to operate remotely came with its challenges, but it also proved beneficial for employers and employees. Several businesses are creating a balance of office and home working for the foreseeable future to get the best of both worlds.

Not having to commute daily saves staff an abundance of time and money, offering them a better work-life balance. However, having some time in the office ensures they can connect with their colleagues to prevent feelings of isolation. With employees following a rota and reducing the people in the office each day, businesses can downsize to cut costs too.

For this flexible workstyle to function efficiently, employees will need access to company documents remotely and in-house, which can leave your data vulnerable. To protect your business from cybercrime, here are six ways to improve your online security.

  • Protected equipment

Allowing staff to work from their personal devices when at home could make your company data vulnerable. Instead, provide equipment for remote working, such as laptops and desktops, with antivirus software and firewalls installed.

Using web-filtering solutions will also keep employees from visiting harmful websites containing malware. As well as this, ensure they implement regular updates on the devices, which usually patches up any security issues.

  • IT Manage Service Provider (MSP)

If you don’t have somebody in-house dedicated to IT services, your online security will likely miss the mark. Hiring a company with a skilled IT team knowledgeable in the latest technology will swiftly deal with any cyber threats and help you stay protected. You won’t need to keep chasing each staff member to conduct maintenance on their devices either.

Custard Technical Services deliver innovative IT support in Leicester and many other areas across the UK. The IT firm’s range of market-leading solutions includes disaster recovery planning, backup solutions, and hardware support. However, the team of technical experts will tailor the services to your business’s needs, goals, industry, and budget.

  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Using a VPN service ensures staff can securely access your company’s online resources when operating remotely. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and hides your IP address to provide complete privacy and prevent hackers from stealing sensitive data. This tool is especially helpful if employees work from cafes or other venues, requiring them to use public Wi-Fi.

By using a VPN service, remote workers can securely access your company’s online resources from any location. It also encrypts all your online activities making your data unreadable and untraceable to anyone outside the network.

  • Backup important data 

Backing up your data will help protect your company information if a cybercriminal locks you out of your network until you pay a ransom. Having a secure backup system will allow you to safely restore your data without succumbing to the threat.

  • Password protection

When setting login passwords, such as for confidential files, websites, and email accounts, try making them strong and unpredictable so that it’s difficult for thieves to uncover. Avoid predictable passwords such as ‘password’ and ‘1234’. Instead, use a combination of words, letters, and symbols.

Don’t use the same password for everything, as if one is detected, every account will be compromised.

It’s easy to forget a list of unique passwords. To prevent getting locked out or having to reset them every time you need access, use a password management system such as Team Passwords.

On top of this, use two-factor authentication for extra protection, so you’ll only be granted access after entering the password and a unique code sent to your phone.

  • Be vigilant against scams

Inform your staff on what to look out for when it comes to fraudulent emails and suspicious websites to help mitigate cybercrime.

Ensure they’re aware not to:

  • provide sensitive information to anyone suspicious
  • click on links from unfamiliar sources
  • downloading files from unreliable contacts

Falling victim to these scam tactics could be catastrophic for your business if it results in a malware infection. To prevent this, continue training your employees on these risks and how to respond if the worst happens.

Hybrid working is a great benefit to offer employees, which could attract impressive new hires in the future. However, for this workstyle to function successfully long-term, you’ll need to invest in your online security if you haven’t already. But there’s no need to fret, as once the IT solutions are in place, it’s easy to maintain, especially if you outsource the duties to a specialist company.