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Why Is The Right To Disconnect Important For IT Security?

By 23rd April 2021May 5th, 2021Blog, Cyber Security, IT Management4 min read

Alert, well-rested and motivated staff are a key part of your business’ security systems, so as nearly half of the UK population continue to work from home, the debate about the right to disconnect has intensified again.

A poll by Opinium on behalf of the union Prospect found that two-thirds of remote workers want to see the right to disconnect enshrined in law, as has been seen in Ireland.

Given that remote working has had major implications to IT support and cybersecurity both in terms of the systems being used and the people who are using them, here is why this discussion is important in the context of IT.


What Is The Right To Disconnect?

The right to disconnect is a term for any type of policy that restricts contact between employers and employees outside of their stated working hours, often with a requirement for more work to be done.

Whilst this was already a problem before the spike in remote working seen last year, it has intensified for many people, with 30 per cent reporting that they work more unpaid hours since working from home than beforehand.

This has led to issues with completely switching off from work as there is a fear that they will be needed outside of their set hours to fix issues, work longer or be on standby. This has had a consequential effect on their mental health.

The right to disconnect’s aim is to redress that balance, not requiring employers to answer phone calls, e-mails or do work-related activities during their non-working hours, and forcing companies to agree to rules as to when they can contact staff outside of their working hours.


How Does This Affect IT?

The human element of cybersecurity is of vital paramount importance. As black-hat hackers and other cybersecurity threats will look for any weakness in your system to break in to, many are turning to social engineering to get into a system.

The more alert, informed and motivated your staff are, the more likely they are to notice threats and handle them appropriately.

These threats can take the form of phishing, where an authentic-looking email, text message, website or even phone call is used to get passwords or other sensitive information that can be used to harm a business.

As well as this, there are outright malicious communications, such as trojan viruses which masquerade as innocent if not important documents and fool a user into clicking on them.

Tiredness, stress and burnout can have a major effect on our decision-making skills, causing us to make more impulsive decisions and more mistakes, which can cause major damage to a business.

Most users are savvy and trained to spot at least basic cybersecurity threats, but the less we are able to rest, disconnect and come at our work with a fresh mind, the more likely we are to make a security error we would not otherwise.

As a result, managing an effective and secure IT system, especially given how distant many employees are from their headquarters is as much about managing the people that use it, and ensuring they are at their best.

Quality is more important than quantity, especially when it comes to working hours.

For more information about improving your cybersecurity with the help of IT support in Doncaster, contact us today.