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A cybersecurity checklist for returning to the office

You’ve taken the necessary precautions to protecting the health of your employees and customers during the pandemic. But before you think about allowing your workers to return to the office in 2022, you’ve got one very important detail to look into: office cybersecurity.

It’s never been a better time to make sure your data and networks are protected. The Australian Cybersecurity Centre (ACSC) recently revealed that cybercrime has jumped up by 13% in the last financial year.

There are many considerations to take into account when thinking about how to return to work as COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns ease. You want to mitigate risks before they arise so that your return does not become swamped with virus-ridden devices or data leaks.

Before you become overwhelmed, take into account your staff’s knowledge of cybersecurity, what may have become lax in working remotely, and the cybersecurity software that needs patching or updating.

We’ve helped you out with a checklist to get the ball rolling. Don’t delay – your cybersecurity is all that stands between you and malicious actors who would love to get their hands on your private data and sensitive information.

5 office cybersecurity issues to check off before returning to the office

  1. Staff cybersecurity awareness training

As your employees begin returning to the office – whether full-time or a working from home hybrid – you must remind them of your business cybersecurity obligations. You may have implemented new security policies and procedures since they have been in the office; new threats are constantly evolving.

Throughout the pandemic, malicious actors have become increasingly sly and crafty about making their way into private networks through attacks like phishing scams. Employees may have become slack or simply forgotten the office procedures during their time working from home; you may have updated your cybersecurity infrastructure.

Whatever the case, providing a training program for employees as they return could save you a major data breach down the track, as well as any IT headaches as your staff run into new procedures like two-factor authentication.

  1. Scan all employee devices

Employees may have been using two or more devices – phones, laptops, tablets – to work from, and the cracks might be starting to show. Keep in mind this can make you more susceptible to malicious actors gaining access to your internal systems as your employees return to work and bring their own devices with them.

With malicious actors capable of attacking one system and then hopping into another, connected one, it’s vital that all user devices are securely scanned upon returning. Necessary patches may need to be installed, and updated along with your internal systems and antivirus software.

  1. Update your internal systems

As your employees bring their own devices back into the office and connect to the corporate network, any one device compromised by malicious actors could give the cyber criminals access to all employee and business private data.

As stated in the previous point, scanning your employees’ personal devices is critical before allowing them to connect to your networks.

  1. Patch any vulnerabilities

Your remote endpoints might be failing to keep up-to-date with software security patches. Some may skip update prompts or postpone system-wide updated. Plus, you may have devices in the office that have been switched off during any updates.

Conducting a vulnerability assessment will help in locating and prioritising high-risk vulnerabilities with far-reaching consequences. Having your IT team test these patches before rolling them out to the entire company will also ensure that they are secure and serviceable.

  1. Ensure your antivirus software is fully up-to-date

New viruses, Trojans, and phishing scams are identified every day. Malicious vendors have not taken a break during the pandemic, and the chance that your remote endpoints have managed to keep up are not high.

It will be time to update your antivirus software, or consider upgrading your security software entirely. Enterprise-grade antivirus software will help keep your endpoints secure while everyone settles back into the office routine, and your IT team won’t be under the pump clearing devices of viruses.

Get help from the cybersecurity experts before returning to the office

Discovering the right combination of cybersecurity policies and procedures can be daunting and tricky. Resetting all passwords and enforcing password policies like two-factor authentication can also help to keep your networks and data secure.

If you need advice or assistance in tackling your cybersecurity concerns, contact the IT experts at INTELLIWORX. They can help you discover the right combination of cybersecurity measures to take to ensure maximum protection of all your sensitive information.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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