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The Financial Conduct Authority this week announced plans to evaluate firms considering remote or hybrid working on a case-by-case basis, saying firms will be required to prove that the remote working does not – or is unlikely to – cause detriment to consumers, damage the integrity of the market, increase the risk of financial crime and reduce competition.
Cybersecurity is one of the issues that IT experts have drawn attention to as hybrid working becomes more commonplace. Remote workers may be without the data and network protection they have in the office and businesses IT support can’t easily access hardware and afflicted computers when remote.
According the UK’s Federation of Small Businesses, smaller enterprises are collectively subject to almost 10,000 cyber-attacks a day. One in five small firms say they’ve suffered a cyber attack in the last two years. What’s more, the annual cost of such IT security attacks to the small business community is estimated to be £4.5 billion.
To help businesses stay secure as they operate non-uniform working models, Charlie Acfield, Technical IT Director at IT support experts Totality Services shares the most prominent cybersecurity risks that companies face and tips on how to mitigate them below. He says: “Traditionally, when company systems were only used and accessed in the office, the risks were more straightforward to mitigate as control was possible over the entire IT stack. With the change to more remote and flexible work practices, technology can help by protecting the methods of data access as well as the endpoints themselves, whether they be company-owned, personal (BYOD) or mobiles.”
Cyber security risks from hybrid working
What steps can companies take to mitigate the risks?
As with securing all environments, a layered approach should be taken that builds up protection from the data source through to the endpoint where possible.