Hands typing on a laptop with a graphic of a padlock and lines and nodes representing a network

Data loss prevention in our remote working world

#KingstonCognate introduces Tomasz Surdyk

Photo of Tomasz Surdyk

Information security, personal data and cybersecurity expert.

With over 24 years of experience in IT security within governments, Tomasz is a leading figure when it comes to information security, personal data and cybersecurity. In his past, he has inspected ICT systems and networks that process classified information and personal data in government administration. He has a security clearance in NATO and the EU.

For several years, he has been the owner of a company specialising in the implementation of secure solutions increasing the security of business information and personal data. As part of this role, he has been carrying out audit activities in various public and private entities throughout EU countries. Furthermore, he is an accomplished advisor in the field of personal data protection, information security, identity theft, cybersecurity, as well as banking secrecy. He was one of the first experts to implement personal data protection in the Polish police.

Risks that come with working remotely

Technological progress and access to the internet has increased the danger that await users working remotely. When using the internet, you should beware of the different traps that may lead to loss or business information theft.

Employees who work remotely are exposed to greater risks than employees who work at the company's premises. The implementation of appropriate procedures and increasing the level of security will minimise the risks coming from working remotely. Most of the employees who work remotely are connected to home network infrastructures that are not verified by IT specialists in terms of ensuring security. Failure to provide adequate security makes it easier to break into the network with corporate devices. It happens when employees use untrusted devices. This allows hackers to eavesdrop and intercept information that is usually unencrypted. That is why it is so important to ensure employees connect safely to the home network. Employees working remotely should connect via VPN, and the IT equipment they use should have the latest operating system and updated antivirus software.

Are business laptops secure?

Hands typing on a laptop with a graphic of padlocks floating in front of the screen

Company computers used by employees should have minimum security levels implemented by IT specialists. These levels include, but are not limited to updated operating system, two-factor authentication(2FA) to the system, the use of antivirus software or additional security of company e-mail accounts. Additionally, business computers should be equipped with encrypted SSDs, and each employee should also use encrypted USB drives. Such solutions will allow the safe storage of processed data by employees while working remotely. Thanks to the implementation of encrypted USB drives and hardware-encrypted SSD solutions, the data is secure whilst having immediate access. Data stored on encrypted USB storage devices and encrypted SSD drives are automatically protected. In the event of their theft, cannot be accessed by unauthorised people. Enterprise set-up allows IT admins to remotely wipe the data on the encrypted USB or encrypted SSDs.

Preventing the risks

The greater the number of additional security measures, the less likely it is for hackers to breach security. Another important security feature is a firewall that protects your device from external threats. It allows you to prevent viruses or leakage of processed information.

When using websites, one should pay attention to different kinds of internet-based threats.

  • DoS and DDoS attacks - Where access to a website or online store is most often hindered.
  • Phishing - Most of our website access data are phished. Frauds may apply to other information, such as personal data, payment card details, bank login details or access to mailboxes.
  • Spam - Various types of messages about latest offers, products, and promotions from various companies. While the consequences in this case will be our irritation, there are also emails that seemingly look normal, but with hidden or invalid links that could lead to phishing or virus-infected sites where malware and ransomware attacks can be executed.
  • Redirecting - Being redirected to other sites where hackers break security and add redirect to other dangerous websites.

The use of DLP software, used in conjunction with VPNs, and Encrypted SSDs and USBs, will help mitigate risks when it comes to data. But the greatest risk is on a human level, so training is also a key part of protecting your data.

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