Working remotely efficiently and without “letting your guard down” in safety

Article in Dinheiro Vivo – Revolution 4.0

At the time of the declaration of the state of emergency, 42% of the Portuguese were – according to a study by Marktest – under telework. The need to reduce social contacts to a minimum has highlighted the different ways of working and interacting remotely – from e-learning to teleworking, through digital collaboration tools – and the importance of 4.0 technologies for their success.

E-learning now gains a new dimension for business decision-makers as a way to acquire knowledge and skills, in a versatile way and adapted to individual needs and schedules. One example is the course on Industry 4.0 launched jointly by Cotec Portugal and INESC TEC.

Lasting six hours and with training distributed over 20 modules, the course covers areas such as robotics and automation, smart factory, big data or smart logistics. “We wanted to explain to companies what digital transformation is all about. The pandemic is bringing up the reason why this is important, since companies which are better prepared to respond and use digital tools will survive more easily ”, says António Almeida, from INESC TEC, for whom the final objective of the course is to “be able to understand the pros and cons of implementing certain technologies”.

In turn, Américo Azevedo, also from INESC TEC, highlights the importance of being multidisciplinary in this approach. “This is where the main difficulty of digital transformation resides. It is necessary to realize that the solution to a given problem is not unique and it is necessary to identify a series of technologies that will solve the problem ”, says Azevedo, who underlines the importance of collaborative work.

The collaborative aspect is well evident in the BIM methodology. “This methodology tries to digitalize the design and construction process in a collaborative way. This is where the BIM methodology, in a teleworking context, can be useful ”, explains António Aguiar Costa, coordinator of the BIM report and the Digitalization of Construction and Infrastructure. For this representative, the work itself is a benefit, since BIM allows you to prepare the work in a digital way. “We have a 3D model with all the information we need, which means that, in a teleworking regime, we are able to prepare the entire work in a more rigorous, integrated way, with maximum rigor. What is at stake is to collaborate more, to plan more, and this can be done remotely and in a collaborative way ”, he assures.

However, the issue of cyber security needs to be taken into account. “It is a crucial issue and it has to be guaranteed. The tools exist, what sometimes does not exist is the awareness of the importance of having a consistent and secure approach in terms of cyber security ”, he says.

Lino Santos, coordinator of the National Cyber security Centre (CNCS), agrees. “There are organizations that were not prepared to have these conditions for all their employees”, he warns. These conditions have to do with the responsibility of companies to provide a work environment at home, similar to the office. “You have to provide the worker with the equipment and a remote access instrument, typically a VPN, to access the organization’s corporate network. This, while maintaining the principle of segregation of duties. We should not, in any way, let our guard down on access control and the strong authentication mechanisms we have in the office when we are at home ”, warns the CNCS coordinator.

The unexpected transition to the teleworking regime can lead to a lightening of the processes and it is here that, for Lino Santos, it is necessary to pay extra attention. “One of the types of attacks that we see with some frequency are spear phishing attacks – forged messages, very well written, and that give the impression of having been written by the person in charge of the company, ordering the person in charge to pay a certain amount to someone . In an office environment we have mechanisms that protect against this type of attack. If we lighten the processes in teleworking, we run risks ”, he warns.

The worker is responsible for ensuring the security of the home network, with the creation of a strong password to access the Wi-Fi network and extra care with the equipment, using the devices provided by the company exclusively for work without sharing them with third parties. However, there are threats that arise associated with the current moment. “People’s level of anxiety makes them very available to consult social networks and view emails with good news. In the past two weeks, we have seen the use of this anxiety to circulate phishing and infection campaigns ”, warns Lino Santos, for whom it is essential that the consultation of social networks or the consumption of information is not done with the devices used for teleworking.

Consult the original article.