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Cyber security is a big concern for companies with remote staff. Is coworking space the answer? We ask Ran Haer, Regus’ Information Security Manager
As the trend for remote working and flexible workspace increases, cyber security is at the forefront of the minds of many company directors.
In recent years, flexible and remote working have become major requirements from professionals negotiating new roles and contracts. According to the 2019 Global Workspace Survey from IWG – Regus’ parent company – 50% of global employees now work outside their office’s main headquarters at least 2.5 days a week. However, in some sectors like technology and video game production, whose employees often work under non-disclosure agreements, concerns about cyber security in a home office can prevent these companies moving towards remote working.
Cyber security threats are often one of the main concerns for companies using coworking space and shared offices. However, you’re in safe hands: securing networks, preventing hacking and protecting our client networks and data is a full-time job for Ran Haer, the group’s Information Security Manager, and his team.
“We work with lots of leading vendors in networking and security on a daily basis,” explains Haer. “Our sole objective is to ensure that we are equipped with the right tools and equipment to ensure our customers work in secure environments. Plus, we’re always pushing our providers for new ideas how to make our networks more secure.
“While we don’t touch our clients’ data, we do provide them with different network services, all of which have security embedded,” Haer continues. “Even though our offices have different companies using the same network, we make sure that one client can’t connect to another on the network.”
IWG’s operating brands each have strict security in place which is tested rigorously and continuously. “We use penetration testers, also known as professional hackers, a specialist team who go into centres and test the systems,” he explains. “They are continuously trying to break it. If a new service is installed or product release, we’ll bring in the team and they’ll try to break it. We are continually checking everything behind the scenes to provide a flawless customer experience.
“We have a one-time registration, so the first time you go into a Regus centre, you have to log on and then you’re remembered,” explains Haer. “Being able to validate the identities of our members is key to keeping tight cyber security in all our offices.”
Of course, you can be a non-Regus member and use the network, as long as you identify yourself, but even if a person can connect to a network there’s no way to traverse across to other client systems. “For us, the biggest concern is social engineering, the art of deception to manipulate people into divulging confidential information. The human is usually the weakest link in the chain,” says Haer. “But our frontline team is our first line of defence. They can see if someone is trying to manipulate their way through security, either by email or by coming to the office and pretending to be someone they are not.”
As all serviced offices are secure environments, both physically and remotely, using flexi spaces and mobile solutions is a sensible way of reducing the threat of cybercrime.
“We are looking at improving ways of delivering awareness. It’s not just about the dangers of phishing – it’s also how to be safe on social media with the rise of cyber bullying, for example. We want to make people more aware, and more vigilant.”
Find out more about how Regus can help your security concerns