Mitigating the risk of data breaches while homeworking

As businesses navigate the unprecedented coronavirus crisis and respond by increasing home and remote working, careful consideration around data security is paramount.

Recognising the increased risks around data protection for employees working outside the office environment and implementing simple measures to mitigate the risk of a data breach is essential.

Kingsley Hayes, managing director at data breach and cybercrime specialist Hayes Connor Solicitors, said: “Businesses are operating in unchartered waters with no definite future forecast. The impact of the coronavirus crisis will be far reaching. Commercial survival will rely on the ability of organisations to quickly adapt working practices to keep staff and clients safe while maintaining business as usual.

“Technology facilitates the ease with which many legal practices can adapt to employees working remotely however, being mindful of potential data protection risks, and quickly implementing appropriate security measures, should be front of mind.

“The National Cyber Security Centre advises organisations to have a mobile working policy to ensure that all staff are not only aware of the increased risks, but also that all employees adopt the relevant security measures.

“The vast majority of data breaches take place due to human error. Preventing incidents can be as simple as carefully considering the remote working environment. Working from the privacy of home, rather than a public place for example, can reduce the risks.

“Appropriately limiting remote access to and storage of files and information and sending encrypted data, if possible, will also prevent costly data breach incidents. The way in which businesses operate in the current climate has changed however, data protection obligations remain the same.”

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