Bringing people back into the office increases risks for the office network

Remote working and the new normal has taken the headlines, but with the call for more workers to return to the office growing, their personal mobile devices may be unsafe and could possibly harm the office IT infrastructure when connected.

The pandemic required those that could, to work remotely and in the scramble to remain effective, whether they had permission or not, many workers used their personal mobile devices to connect with colleagues and clients and also access sensitive data.

Unfortunately, despite the addition of biometric security measures, consumer devices rarely possess the stringent cyber security defences typical on corporate electronics. This poses a risk to corporate networks through malware and security vulnerabilities, lurking unknown on an individual’s phone.

Even those employees that used corporate mobile devices for remote working, they will typically have been connected to personal or coffee shop Wi-Fi networks, which could make these devices less secure as a result.

To counter the potential deluge of security threats, businesses must secure their corporate data and networks, not only using multiple layers of security, but the cooperation of everyone within the organisation. The potential risk is so large it cannot be left just to your cyber security team.

Before allowing personal devices onto the network, a company-approved antivirus solution should be deployed to the device, with scans undertaken before joining the network.

Access to the corporate network should only be granted to those who require it and separate guest networks should be created for everyone else. Cyber-attackers will try to move laterally through your network and by only allowing personal mobile devices access to an isolated network, you can significantly decrease this risk.

Undoubtedly many personal smartphones are compromised with serious cyber security vulnerabilities and to mitigate the risks, mobile app management can help make network admins aware of what is running on their network, whilst allowing them to control mobile devices remotely.

Remote working has increased the risk that sensitive business data is vulnerable, when devices leave the secure office network. Businesses can secure data stored on mobile devices through the use of full-disk encryption, which must be a mandatory requirement for any device that leaves the building.

As a result, your people must ensure their devices are fully up-to-date and secure, with all the latest security patches implemented through regular system updates.

It is critical you strengthen your network security and set tighter user permissions, so that insecure mobile devices don’t provide cyber criminals a weak point to exploit and access your corporate systems.

If you have any concerns about your people returning to the office with vulnerable mobile devices, please get in touch with the team here at Quiss and we will talk you through the options to ensure your ongoing security.

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