Get secure in your remote working – with One NZ

Posted by The Icehouse on 6/07/2023 12:00:00 AM

Increased connectivity has given owners and their teams unprecedented freedom to work where and when they want, and the New Zealand workforce has never been more mobile, agile or dispersed. 

Get secure in your remote working – with One NZ

However, with increased connectivity comes increased risk, and businesses of all sizes and across all industries need to be aware of the potential threats, and the practical and technological measures to take, to keep confidential company and personal data safe and secure – particularly in the area of remote working. 

Secure remote working begins with intelligent product choices, a behavioural and mindset change and continuous employee training, explains Lindsay Zwart, Chief Enterprise Director at One New Zealand and Icehouse Director.

“We proactively support and work with organisations to undertake cybersecurity training. We also work with organisations to ensure they have the right policies in place and keep their teams accountable around usage. We even provide testing, which includes rolling out suspicious test emails and simulating phishing attacks.”

Creating a company-wide security policy that advises employees on approved sites, programmes and apps, is a good start in keeping things safe. 

The mobility of work means that the airport, the library, and even the school run provide opportunities to proofread the annual report or send a quick email, so while trusted WiFi networks, such as your home network, are much safer than public WiFi, if you have to work on the go, consider using your mobile data instead, as mobile networks are more secure. 

“We live in a world where limited data should no longer be an issue. If you're in a position where you travel a lot for work, speak to your Telco provider and your technical team to ensure you have all the data you need and that you're protected and not exposed to rogue WiFi, for example,” says Lindsay. 

explains Lindsay Zwart, Chief Enterprise Director at One New Zealand and Icehouse Director

Email is one the most preferred vehicles at the scammer’s fingertips, and this is where employee training comes into play. “It may seem obvious, but common sense can play a huge part in staying safe. We all know to look carefully at that email address before you click on the subject, but people always get caught.” Various research points state that more than 90% of all attacks begin with a phishing email.

Safety measures to consider also include:

  • Software updates – Keep your devices and anti-virus software up to date and run regular checks

  • VPN – This restricts users to one network on the internet and enables remote access when needed. VPNs also protect company files and data

  • Two-factor authentication – A simple two-step process which requires users to provide more than one type of verification, such as a password, and then a text code sent to the user’s phone

At the top of the list is device security. Products such as Secure Device Manager enable the secure management of your company’s data by controlling devices from a simple web-based portal.

Endpoint security controls such as anti-virus and malware protection and firewalls also need to be applied across all work devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets.

“Endpoint security, or endpoint protection, helps protect endpoints from malicious actors and exploits. We all need to look at how we set up these solutions in our homes. What am I plugging USB connections into? What am I downloading? How do we protect these devices? What is the policy on bringing your device to work?” 

Why? Today’s home includes much more than just a few core work devices. Think of personal devices such as the family laptop, other phones, printers and photocopiers, video cameras and tablets - blending work and personal tech is a bad idea.

One NZ protects business customers by working with cybersecurity partner DEFEND to offer cyber security solutions for businesses of all sizes with different levels of remote working.

Get secure in your remote working – with One NZ - 2

Recently, they have worked together to strengthen Aotearoa’s cyber defence capabilities by enabling threat protection for anyone on their network. This new capability, developed by DEFEND, utilises their Advanced Threat Management platform called SHERLOCK, and Cyber Threat Intelligence provided by the GCSB’s National Cyber Security Centre’s Malware Free Networks service (MFN), and uses it to protect customers from threats at the network level.

“We stand a much better chance of protecting customers who click on a malicious link in a spam text for example, by blocking the connection before it does any harm,” says Lindsay.

By signing up to Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs’ 11 Voluntary principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and blocking this content at a network level, One NZ also now offers a higher level of protection that has previously been provided in New Zealand. The principles provide a common and consistent framework to better combat the proliferation of online child exploitation, ensuring their customers’ safety from exploitative content.

Ultimately, your remote cyber security measures and protocols should be constantly assessed, reviewed and tested. Building trust with your customers is vital, so the reputational damage to businesses that fall victim to cyber-attacks can be potentially fatal. 

“Certainly boards are becoming more educated on the risks of their organisations holding customer information, thinking about the brand and corporate risk that they hold and, as a result, are asking management, ‘What are you doing in this space?

“While some organisations are more mature than others concerning cyber security risk, we're finding that many organisations are now hiring cyber security specialists to their IT mix. You can't stand still and securing your environment follows a continuous path of development.” 

For SMEs and medium-sized businesses alike, choosing the right solutions can be a daunting prospect. Talk to your IT team and your Telco provider, who can assist with best-practice tips and independent product advice on everything from productivity platforms to cloud services and more, and set up your organisation for world-leading cyber security.

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