Working from home

Working from home

As many organisations have been working from home over the last couple of months, they will begin to see the benefits of home working. With this in mind, I am expecting it to be the new “normal” way of working.

Businesses would have seen that staff are just as, or in some cases, even more productive at home as they are in the office which is key. It is important that working from home is taken seriously and the health and wellbeing of staff is still considered and monitored regularly. It is easy for staff to feel isolated if they are working from home for a long period of time.

I have now been working from home for nearly 3 months and I want to share my top tips based on my experience of working from home with you.

Exercise

It can be tempting to set your alarm just before your shift starts in the morning, but this is not healthy! From my experience, I would advise you to get up at your normal time and create a “commute to work” routine. If it means going out for a 20-minute walk before your shift, you will be surprised at how much the fresh air can help you start the day off correctly.
In addition to this, sitting behind the screen all day is not healthy and it is important that you make time for regular exercise. During this pandemic, it is important that you do so within the Government guidelines and ensure safety.

Communication

One element that a lot of organisations have struggled with during working from home is communication. I expect, as staff have adapted to working from home, the levels of communication have increased. Do not forget to pick up the phone and speak to your colleagues every so often, say good morning & goodbye at the end of your shift. These are all little appreciated touches that people often forget about when working from home.
You could even go the extra mile and have a virtual cup of tea/ coffee with your colleagues.

Work/ life balance

To ensure that you have a healthy work/ life balance, it is a good idea to create a dedicated workspace to allow you to separate work and lifestyle. This gives you ability to walk away from your desk/ computer when you are finished for the day.

If this is something you are struggling with, it is important that you speak up and discuss this with your manager.

Keep checking our blog posts to keep up to date with our working from home blogs!


Internet Encryption

Your users internet traffic should be encrypted

Unencrypted internet based communications are more vulnerable to interception and hijacking. It is important that your company and personal traffic is protected to reduce the chances of someone stealing your data.

Protecting internet traffic is essential for safeguarding personal and business information.  Thousands of people use the internet every day, whether it’s work related, online shopping or just browsing.  Using an unsecured network leaves you vulnerable to individuals potentially gaining access to passwords, company data, and client/customer personal information.

As more organisations are moving to cloud-based operations, internet security becomes even more important as users are able to access documents from any location.  Therefore, enhanced, high-quality security is essential to help prevent corporate and personal information from being stolen.

Do your users use the internet every day?  Do your users work from multiple locations/ countries?

Solution:

You need a central managed solution in place that provides a layer of security to avoid any personal or corporate information from being stolen.  You need to have the appropriate controls implemented to deliver advanced security and internet encryption to all users in all locations. Additionally, real-time reporting and analytics are essential to give you insights into threats and vulnerabilities, so you can see and control activity inside your network.


Migration to the cloud

Demand for cloud will grow 18% this year to $246.8 billion in total worldwide revenue from $209.2 billion – Gartner

Nowadays more organisations are moving to cloud based operations. 

ACCESSIBILITY

There are many reasons why businesses would want to move to the cloud, one being accessibility of data. As users are travelling and going from one location to another, the ability to access corporate data outside of the office is crucial. This will improve user productivity.

AVAILABILITY

Would your organisation benefit from working offline outside of the office?  By moving to the cloud, your users will be able to work and edit documents offline, on any device at any location.  An internet connection would only be required to share or upload documents.

STRATEGIC VALUE

Microsoft solutions also include regular updates, ensuring that your devices and users are protected.  Functionality evolves over time ensuring that organisations can take advantage of continually improving efficiencies and work practices.  The updates are completed automatically, reducing the workload for the user. Collaboration is a key feature of the cloud as it allows users to work on documents in real time together.

M9 understands that migrating to the cloud is not always the best solution for your business.  You need to ensure that your IT infrastructure is in line with your business objectives. 


M9's Cyber Security capability continues to grow

M9’s Cyber Security capabilities continues to grow

 

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport report released earlier this year reinforced the continued emergence of cyber threat as a significant risk to businesses across the UK and globally. Some 32% of UK based businesses have identified a data breach or attack in the last 12 months whilst only 31% of firms have carried out a cyber risk assessment and only 36% have cyber governance policies in place.

Here at M9, as a Managed Service Provider and IT company, both our own data security and that of our customers is of paramount importance to us. Our record for security is one of which we are proud.

We are very aware that companies themselves are best placed to understand their appetite for risk to their business models and critical assets but it is important that we, as their partners are able to advise and assist them in setting their strategy and defining their investment and risk positions to address the cyber factors affecting them.

The M9 group use GCHQ threat intelligence and industry leading technology and combine it with a focus on training our people and having the right policy and processes in place. This three pronged approach delivers highly effective cyber security for both ourselves and and our clients.  So successful that in the last five years no M9 Group client has been the victim of a successful cyber attack.

This statistic is undoubtedly a positive indicator of M9s delivery in this field but we also understand that the landscape is constantly shifting and there is no room for complacency. 


5 Simple cyber security things you need to think about

5 Simple Cyber Security things you need to think about

M9 understands that cyber security is a major priority for your organisation. Not only are the majority of our customers small multi-nationals, we are one ourselves.  Travelling and using devices in different locations can increase the security challenges for your organisation, as you could be exposing your users and PC’s to security vulnerabilities.

How can you protect your users?

Your user’s internet traffic should be encrypted. Some nation states inspect traffic, in other words, they can see what you browse. It is important that your traffic is protected to reduce the chances of someone stealing your data.

Block the bad, allow the good. As everyone is moving to the cloud, it makes it more difficult to manage what people are accessing internally and externally. Do you know what your users are accessing in the cloud? Uploading sensitive information can create vulnerabilities to your business.

Don’t trust anything. Zero trust.  Have you got something in place that tells you what is trustworthy and what’s not? Is the site the user accessing safe? Does it contain malware or a redirect to a phishing site?

Bring your own device (BYOD). The modern work place has started to evolve to accommodate users using their own device. When users travel, they tend to use their own devices to access corporate documents. It is essential that your organisation has a BYOD policy in place to avoid misuse of data.  A recent survey suggests that 39% of business have a formal BYOD policy – Forbes.

Cyber Security awareness. Your users are your biggest asset and your biggest risk. Introducing regular internal security awareness training sessions for your staff will enhance their ability to identify, contain and prevent an attack from taking place.  This will help when your users travel for work commitments as they will be more cautious and think before acting.