Basic Rules for remote working with web based cloud software.

The increasing number of often feature converging, web-based cloud software, mobile devices and Wi-Fi networks in public places offer both new and easy ways of working. An obvious benefit is the ability to work flexibly; from home or in public places such as coffee shops, hotels and while traveling.

However, the problem this creates for a company is the potential for its employees to unwittingly lose or leak company data through unsecure software, fake public Wi-Fi networks and the use of uncontrolled personal devices. If left unchecked the loss and leakage of data can seriously erode a company’s competitiveness.

While company data security is the domain of its IT security team, we all have a part to play in keeping our company’s data safe by being vigilant and following a few basic rules when using web-based cloud software, public Wi-Fi networks and mobile devices:

The Basic Rules

  • 1. Be aware that there is an unacceptable risk of company data loss and leakage on (often free) consumer orientated web-based software. There is a difference between these and the dedicated (paid for) business orientated software with similar features.
  • 2. Consult your IT department before using web-based cloud software (regardless of the brand name) to share or hold your company’s documents and data.
  • 3. Only share company data on web-based cloud software approved by your company’s IT department. The first question asked of a vendor should be where and how the data is held – this is critical information.
  • 4. Don’t share company data in ‘public folders’. As well as making the data available to unintended recipients this could be compounded if the folder is synchronized across different devices.
  • 5. Always check the name and origin of the Wi-Fi network you are connecting to. Anyone can set up a fake (or evil twin) Wi-Fi network in a public place and use easily written software to read and collect data of those who unwittingly connect and send data across it.
  • 6. If in doubt, or if you can’t verify the origin of the Wi-Fi network you intend to use, consider using the hotspot on your phone to create your own personal Wi-Fi instead.
  • 7. Switch of geo-tagging on your mobile devices.
  • 8. Always keep the operating system, application and anti-virus software on your computer and mobile devices updated. Automatically apply software patches as soon as the vendor releases them.

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