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Remote working has been a key security focus for some companies for a number of years, but the coronavirus pandemic has led to many more businesses adopting homeworking as a long-term practice. For some, remote working has longevity beyond social distancing restrictions. However, it can come with cybersecurity concerns, such that businesses must ensure they are effectively managing the risks of remote workers exposing data.
As well as the external cybersecurity threats to company servers, there is also a risk that undisciplined employees may make mistakes when they are no longer working in a controlled environment. Even the simplest of errors or oversights could allow sensitive information to become vulnerable.
Unfortunately, when the transition was made to remote working, some companies failed to make the cybersecurity adjustments required. Going forward, it is important that every company adapts their data protection strategies to the demands of remote working, or they may risk information exposure.
The challenge of immediately transitioning to remote working last March, when lockdown restrictions were first imposed, was something that some companies failed to tackle effectively. As a result, there was a possibility that the shift had opened up potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
In part, the risk was provoked by the use of remote workers’ internet connections. While offices should have their own professional barriers to hacks and viruses, employers had no guarantee that their employees’ home networks were equally secure.
The risk of remote workers exposing data by their own negligence can also be a problem for employers to consider. Something as simple as an employee leaving their laptop unattended or printing off private information could constitute a breach of company regulations and of data protection law.
Managing the potential issue of remote workers exposing data must be an ongoing priority for all companies. First of all, it is important to block out as many external cybersecurity threats as possible. This can be achieved by methods such as:
Moreover, employers need to ensure that their employees are effectively educated on best practice for data protection. For example, they need to be taught to identify email scams, to avoid making copies of private data, and to use password protection effectively.
If you have been affected by remote workers exposing data, or any other data exposure incident, you could be eligible to make a compensation claim.
At Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers – as leading data claims specialists, we have been representing clients across England and Wales for privacy matters since 2014. We have worked on some of the biggest data breach group actions of recent years, including those against British Airways and Virgin Media.
We can use our expertise to offer you free, no-obligation advice on your potential claim, so do not hesitate to contact us if you think you have a claim to make.
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