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Protecting your workforce in the new normal: from securing devices to ensuring productivity

Dean Thomson, Head of Cyber Security at O2

In the last month a number of well-known organisations have announced large scale and permanent work from home strategies. Fujitsu’s ‘Work Life Shift’ programme will see its office space in Japan halved.  Google is to keep its employees working from home until summer 2021, and Twitter has told its employees that they can continue to work from home “forever” if they so choose .

At O2 Business, flexible working is business as usual, and we believe that it is the route to greater business efficiency and happier people.

Our recent O2 Business research report, conducted in partnership with ICM, YouGov and Cenex has highlighted what’s important to people working in businesses of all sizes. . If working from home becomes the new normal, how can you ensure that workers stay both secure and productive?

At O2 we do this by offering a wide range of security, connectivity, collaboration and digital workplace solutions. We work closely with a wide network of leading partners to ensure our solutions are the best fit for the customer’s needs. An area where we are seeing real momentum with these changing times is in our work with the world’s leading cloud security providers, where we leverage their global technology to deploy corporate security controls to any device, anywhere.

The types of controls we can apply range from scanning a devices’ incoming and outgoing traffic for malware, looking for incidences of data leakage, botnet protection, website filtering, sandboxing, firewalls, and cloud access control. This is all instantly achievable through the use of cloud security technology.

An added benefit of this extra security is visibility. As soon as the devices’ traffic hits the internet we can begin to monitor the daily usage of business critical applications and keep an eye on the use of non-business applications and websites.

Once you know what your users are doing from home you can apply traffic shaping and quality of service controls. For example, you could allow one hour of social media usage per working day, and after that point you can change the user experience so business critical applications perform normally, while Facebook takes the back seat and performs extremely slowly. Perhaps even not at all.

Another benefit of this technology is that it can notify employees that their usage is being monitored, logged and controlled. Not only does this approach increase productivity but it ensures staff working outside of the office are compliant and adherent to company policy.


If you would like to arrange a cyber security assessment for your company with one of our experts, or know more about how O2 can help you with remote working please use the online form to get in touch.

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