Why is Data Security Everyone’s Responsibility?


Since March, remote working has become a norm for a large majority of workers worldwide and as such, data security has become more important. With employees using VPNs and on occasion their own broadband connections whilst working remotely, many companies have been more vulnerable to cyber-attacks than usual.  According to the World Health organisation there has been a fivefold increase in cyber attacks during lockdown.

But, with remote working becoming more commonplace and potentially turning into the new norm for the long-term future how can you ensure your employees are keeping data safe and secure? We will be covering the following areas:

  1. Why are more data breaches and cyber-attacks happening whilst remote working?
  2. Who is responsible for data security in the company?
  3. How do we ensure everyone is doing their part to keep data safe whilst remote working?
  4. How Minerva can help

Why are more data breaches and cyber-attacks happening whilst remote working?

There are several reasons why there has been an increase in cyber-crimes since lockdown started. One of these is that the VPN your workers are using may not be as secure as the connections within your office. There is also always a risk that employees may not be using a VPN when accessing company data. If they are doing this then it could be making your company vulnerable to attacks as home broadband connections often don’t have the same security protocols.

Many companies simply weren’t prepared for remote working so the protocols may not have been as secure as they would have liked them to be.  Lockdown due to covid-19 was sudden and most companies didn’t have much time to prepare to transition to remote working. The connection in the office is likely to have a strong anti-malware, anti-spyware and a strong firewall to protect your workers, but your remote working networks may not have the same data security protocols.

As well as this, with employees being located outside of the office, email traffic has doubled since the lockdown and so employees may have been more likely to click on a phishing emailing. According to a recent survey conducted by Barracuda, 46% of the organisations they asked across UK, France and Germany said they had suffered at least one “cyber-scare” since lockdown began.

Who is responsible for data security in a company?

The simple answer to this is; everyone. Each employee and employer is responsible for ensuring that especially during remote working they do everything they can, to ensure they minimise the risk of a cyber-attack or data breach. Every employee has a role to play when it comes to data security.

How do we ensure everyone is doing their part to keep data safe whilst remote working?

There are several steps you can take to ensure your company  and employees are doing all they can to ensure data is safe and following data security protocols at all times.

The first and possibly most important one is to speak to your staff, whether it is over a video conference call or email. Speak to them and find out if they are fully aware of GDPR, what to look out for in phishing emails and make sure they are aware of what they need to do if they suspect a data breach. Taking this small step will enable you to understand your staff’s position and whether training in cyber security is required.

Also, ensure you regularly remind your employees they need to be using the VPN at all times when remote working and only to use the authorised devices. This will help minimise the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks.

As a manager, liaise with your IT department to ensure that you have best, most secure VPN and data security protocols. If you are unsure of your data security when it comes to your VPN then make sure you get this assessed to find out how secure it is and whether you need to invest in a stronger firewall or more anti-virus/malware/spyware software.

 If you wait for your system to be “tested” by a data breach and you become a victim of a cyber-attack this could have serious financial implications as well as potentially tarnishing your company’s reputation.

Although remote working for some may not be forever, many companies are now implementing the flexibility to working away from the office permanently so it is more important than ever to ensure you are implementing the strongest data security protocols you can.

How Minerva Can Help

Here at Minerva, we want to ensure all companies are staying safe and secure, especially during these challenging times.  Our IT network security services simplify the risk of external devices breaking into your network and stealing valuable data. Having a managed security system in place allows your business to work efficiently, without the worry of your network being breached.

If you are unsure of how secure your current setup is contact us today. We can assess your system for any potential weaknesses and provide advice on the best way forward.