Learn how you can mitigate the risk of a cyber security attack whilst working from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Cyber security is an evolving landscape, with cyber attacks increasing and affecting more and more organisations across the public sector every single day. New data protection regulation (GDPR) came into force in 2018 and organisations responded by improving security procedures and systems. But the threats still remain, with cyber criminals developing more sophisticated ways to infiltrate and harm our systems and misuse data.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, more of us are now working from home and are adapting to new ways of working. This experience often involves finding somewhere quiet and secure to work, using laptops and mobile devices and online tools to aid team working. Security remains a key consideration and your IT departments will have been working hard to address the risks posed by home working.  

Top tips to mitigate the risk

Many of these risks are not new, but may have increased as we work in a possibly less secure environment during a time of heightened anxieties. The good news is that plenty of advice is available, both from your security teams and from national experts. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has a wealth of information on its website, including specific advice about working at home and dealing with more email scams, as cyber criminals try to take advantage of the current emergency.  

Look further and you will find advice about strengthening passwords. Many of us now suffer from “password overload” and can be tempted to reuse passwords, note them down in an easily accessible place, or include familiar names. Using a password manager can address this issue by creating random, unique passwords and saving them securely. 

Finally, for those of you tasked with buying on-line conferencing services, NCSC offers advice about performing a risk assessment on what providers can offer.

We’re here to help

At CCS, we have a dedicated commercial agreement for cyber security services. The current version is a dynamic purchasing system (DPS), which offers a comprehensive range of services needed by our customers to manage and protect systems and data. More information about our DPS can be found on our website.

We are also working more and more to understand the supplier landscape and put the customer at the heart of our plans to help us to develop future commercial agreements. 

Talking to customers in the current COVID-19 pandemic is not as easy as it used to be, as customers have other priorities to focus on. However, customer insight is still crucial to us, so we have designed a simple, online survey which should take about fifteen minutes to complete.

Please take the survey and help us to make our commercial agreements work for you. If you want to talk to us, give us more information or find out about our plans, our contact details are at the end of the survey, or to speak to us about using the current DPS, please email info@crowncommercial.gov.uk.