Coworking spaces and flexible offices are now key elements in the organizational structure of businesses. Once considered a new trend, their existence has been democratized, stimulated by the Covid pandemic and the increase in teleworking.
Whether they are freelancers, SMEs, start-ups or large groups, all appreciate the great flexibility and ease of use that these spaces offer on a daily basis. However, one question remains: that of confidentiality within spaces and data.
If businesses now have to deal with the threat of cyber attacks, can flexible working ensure everyone's safety?
Does working in a community mean sharing everything?
The idea that community work involves absolute sharing is a common misunderstanding.
In fact, the majority of coworking and flexible office spaces offer closed offices that allow teams to be brought together, thus facilitating communication while ensuring the security of information and data. Only services and events are shared with all coworkers, while workspaces can be privatized.
To ensure flexible and secure work, it is recommended to diversify workspaces within the same privatized area, allowing employees to choose the location most suited to their tasks. Phone boxes or privacy areas can be made available for telephone calls or virtual meetings in complete peace of mind.
Equipment at the cutting edge of technology
Les flexible workspaces are aware of the importance of safety and incorporate this concern into their design. Many spaces work with companies that specialize in security. For example, Regus, one of the largest networks of coworking spaces, separates its customers' connections using a firewall system, creating virtual private networks to ensure data security.
Additionally, some coworking spaces are deploying electronic locks to increase their security, replacing traditional manual locks. Access is managed via an application on the employee's smartphone, which allows automatic detection of possible breaches.
Phone boxes, these booths designed for privacy, are becoming more and more common in coworking spaces. Equipped with acoustic insulation, they minimize external noise, guaranteeing the confidentiality of communications.
Businesses also have a role to play in terms of pedagogy and support on these security issues. It is important for everyone to make them aware of the risks that a security breach could cause.
Simple instructions can be given such as: isolate yourself in a dedicated space to make a confidential call, limit the number of impressions and not leave paper lying around in the spaces, cut off your session at each moment of absence at the workstation, etc.
Finally, note that to ensure that your data and that of your customers does not fall into the wrong hands, several coworking centers have configured their printers so that they do not register any print jobs. They can also provide a regular document destruction service for your writings before being deleted.
Here are several examples of risks and their solutions:
- Eavesdropping or “sniffing”
Solution: Use a virtual private network (VPN) to secure your communications and use secure communication protocols such as HTTPS.
- Theft of equipment
Solution: Never leave your devices unattended, use laptop security locks, and protect your devices with strong passwords with encrypted data in case of theft.
- Malicious software
Solution: Keep your antivirus software up to date and enable a firewall on your device. Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments from unknown or untrustworthy sources.
- Social engineering
Solution: Train employees to recognize social engineering attempts and verify the identity of anyone requesting sensitive information.
- Risks associated with shared printing
Solution: Be careful when using a shared printer and ensure that you retrieve printed documents containing sensitive information immediately to avoid unauthorized access.