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Home Office: How To Avoid IT Security Stumbling Blocks

The corona crisis and the associated restrictions have also turned working life upside down. 

For many companies, the home office is the only way to maintain their business without too many restrictions during the corona pandemic: What initially sounds simple, however, can develop into a significant IT security risk for companies – especially if improvised solutions for this Working at home are found and maintained. If, for example, remote end devices such as notebooks, tablets and smartphones are used at home in the face of a lack of technology, security guidelines are quickly disregarded.

Insecure Communication Tools In Use

“IT security threatened to fall by the wayside, especially in the initial phase, when companies quickly sent their employees to the home office. But even now, there are still numerous gateways open to cybercriminals to infiltrate systems and cause damage,”. “Few employees have their notebooks that are suitable for encrypted access to business data and applications. And if there is not enough licensed VPN access for all employees, companies also reach their limits on the software side. “

Due to the lack of alternatives, employees resort to unsafe means such as WhatsApp, Gmail, Dropbox and other services for private users. WhatsApp, however, reads the address books, including email contacts and phone numbers of colleagues, customers and partners and forwards the data to the parent company Facebook. In addition, WhatsApp collects metadata from users, which can be used to create personal user profiles.

Both of these are strictly forbidden under the GDPR and can result in multi-million dollar fines for the companies concerned, for example, in 2019 in the case of Deutsche Wohnen or 1 & 1. It is no better to save essential business documents on a poorly protected private computer or open infected email attachments that cybercriminals can use to access the company network.  

Recommendations For A Secure Home Office

“Even in times of crisis, companies must by no means lower the level of security and must prevent the unsafe use of personal devices for business communication. So now is the time to reconsider the security precautions for mobile devices. Companies should now take the opportunity at the latest and put their corporate communication on a stable and, above all, legally secure foundation,”.

The recommended actions for a secure and data protection compliant home office at a glance:

  • Private and business data must be strictly separated from one another.
  • The WhatsApp messenger service must not be used for business communication – not even in times of crisis.
  • Employees must be made aware of the dangers posed by the use of personal devices for business. This applies to both the risks of cyber attacks and the consequences of violating the GDPR. 
  • Now at the latest, companies should provide their employees with the right, professional and secure applications.

With a secure mobile communication solution such as SecurePIM, all data is encrypted and stored in a container and sent in encrypted form. This protects them from unauthorized access and prevents them from flowing away in an uncontrolled manner. This also ensures the strict separation of internal company and private data – even when employees use their smartphones and tablets—another advantage: No VPN connection is required for SecurePIM. Working from home is possible immediately and without cumbersome setup procedures and with high bandwidth.

Virtual Solution, based in Munich and Berlin, develops and sells the SecurePIM application and the SERA framework for iOS and Android devices. Both solutions ensure secure and user-friendly mobile communication in authorities and companies up to the level of confidentiality. 

Also Read: Home Office: 8 Tips For Practical Work

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