Published 22 May 2020

ILUX, an IT-support company, has published the results of a survey of 2,000 British employees currently working from home. The survey reveals some worrying findings for bosses to consider when preparing for possible future crises.

Perhaps the most disturbing finding is that a tenth of respondents did not believe they were working in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), possibly putting personal data at risk and incurring the possibility of regulatory penalties from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). A similar proportion (13%) also said they were using personally owned devices, which may explain their lack of confidence in complying with the GDPR. As personal devices are not maintained by an organisation’s IT support, they may not be adequately patched against security vulnerabilities or possibly even running outdated, unsupported software like Windows 7.

Two in three respondents also said they felt like their bosses were not providing them with enough IT support while working from home. What’s more, a tenth of people said they would not approach their bosses about it, because they believed they would be too stressed or busy.

Being busy should not be an excuse for complacency, however, according to ILUX Managing Director James Tilbury. He pointed out that it was asking for trouble to get people to work from home without providing them with the right equipment and ensuring adequate security protocols. He pointed out that it would be particularly harmful to lose data right now, and despite the relatively low number of non-GDPR-compliant homeworkers, he emphasised that it would be far more preferable to not be one of the minority of organisations that are leaving themselves vulnerable to various cyberattacks.

He said:

“Employees should only use business devices, not home computers, phones and/or tablets to transfer data. All devices should have the latest patches applied, to ensure security vulnerabilities or other bugs are fixed, as well as anti-virus, anti-spam and web protection. Home computers will, most likely, not have these applied. Nine in ten is a positive figure, better than would be expected, but as a business owner I would be starting to ask myself ‘Did I plan enough for home working’ and get some advice from an industry professional on how you might rectify any GDPR issues in my business, now.”

He added that it was better to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach to this problem.

The pandemic has caused many organisations to shift to a model based on more remote working, and it’s certainly happened faster than many would prefer. Indeed, the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of being prepared to continue functioning whenever such situations arise in future.

At Pro-Networks, our IT services and support can help you to prepare for future events, whether it’s by migrating some services to the cloud for easier remote access, ensuring GDPR compliance or establishing a safe infrastructure for remote working.


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