By David Mills, CEO, Ricoh Europe

Ricoh Europe, London, 04 June 2020 – Whether it’s leaving an umbrella on a train or dropping a glove on a weekend walk, we’ve all lost things when on the move. Losing your phone or keys, on the other hand, causes much more of a headache and puts personal information at risk. Still, these can be resolved relatively easily.

But imagine losing £4 trillion of data.1 That’s the predicted cost of data breaches by 2024.

It comes as no surprise that data and cyber security are very much top of boardroom agendas in this age of remote working. Businesses are now required to keep operations secure and data protected across a collection of networks, not just within their office space. But ensuring the same, if not greater, level of security as when we are in the office is not impossible. After all, there is no shortage of tools and solutions to help.

Here are three ways to keep your data under lockdown:

1. Bring staff on board

As we head into the next phase of social distancing, businesses must establish clear protocols for working remotely. This should include providing the correct equipment to ensure that company procedures are followed and security is protected at all times.

This does not mean creating long-winded corporate policies or IT micro-management. That’s a surefire way to frustrate workers into taking shortcuts, potentially leaving systems vulnerable. Providing everyone with company-issued equipment means your IT team can control what software is installed as well as respective security permissions. It also aids the delivery of a consistent employee experience across the board.

2. Stay security smart

There’s no denying that this new era and the disparate way of working that comes with it makes data even more ripe for the picking.

Opportunistic hackers are coming up with even more creative ways to exploit weaknesses, using the boom in collaboration tools as a way in. Even Disney characters aren’t off limits – hackers recently hid malicious code in a seemingly harmless Donald Duck gif.

This reinforces the need to get the right systems and software in place. Going beyond firewalls and next-generation encryption, businesses should monitor and track the use of sensitive information and manage permissions via document management software such as DocuWare.

3. Flip BYOD on its head

Everyone knows the buzzword ‘BYOD’ and the pain it can cause IT teams trying to protect the business from employees using personal devices on private networks. However, this has now been flipped on its head. When lockdown was implemented, many businesses didn’t have enough time to equip people with company-issued equipment for remote working. Meaning that some staff had no choice but to use personal devices for work purposes.

If couriering company devices isn’t an option, businesses should offer continuous guidance to their employees about how to keep company information safe. Where possible, business data should be stored in a separate, password-protected area of the device and business applications should be locked when employees leave their workspace unattended. It’s also worthwhile empowering employees to invest in reputable anti-virus software to install and update their devices regularly.

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Final thoughts

The task of safeguarding business data has never looked so daunting with employees scattered across countless locations. The trick is to remember that protecting valuable information does not rest on your IT team’s shoulders alone – everyone in the company has an important role to play and will require varying levels of guidance. It’s a challenge that most will have never faced – but one we all must rise to.


About Ricoh

Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling individuals to work smarter. For more than 80 years, Ricoh has been driving innovation and is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, communications services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras, and industrial systems.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2020, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,008 billion yen (approximately 18.5 billion USD).

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