Network Security Solutions in Shared Workspaces
In recent years, the popularity of co-working spaces has soared, especially among freelancers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and company employees who work remotely.
These shared workspaces offer a range of benefits, such as a cost-effective workstation, office amenities, and a community of peers. However, they also come with significant privacy and security challenges that require effective network security solutions.
Whether you operate a co-working space, work in one, or have employees who make use of them, it’s important that you’re aware of the potential IT security risks.
What Are The Problems Faced In A Co-working Space?
In a co-working space, privacy and security are essential considerations since members are sharing a workspace with other users and organisations, all of whom have their own networks, devices, and data. It’s impossible to know the threats that could exist on the devices of other members, connecting to the same network as you.
Securing shared facilities is challenging due to several reasons. There’s a lack of control over the physical space and the network infrastructure. Some co-working spaces have open floor plans, and it can be difficult to monitor who enters and leaves the premises. Moreover, many co-working spaces offer public Wi-Fi networks that are accessible to anyone, making them vulnerable to cyberattacks.
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How Do You Secure A Co-working Space?
To minimise these challenges, co-working spaces can take steps such as securing the physical space with access control systems and CCTV cameras, implementing a secure network infrastructure, and educating members about best practices for data privacy and security.
As a member of a co-working space, one way to protect your own sensitive data is to store it on a secure network or a device that is encrypted and password-protected. You could use privacy screens on your devices to prevent anyone from seeing what you are working on. You can also consider using secure communication tools such as end-to-end encrypted messaging apps and virtual private networks (VPNs).
Risks That Should Be Assessed for Shared Networks
When using a shared network in a co-working space, you expose yourself to several risks such as eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle attacks, and malware infections. While you’d like to be able to instinctively trust the other co-working members around you, it’s prudent to assess these risks and take steps to mitigate them.
When considering network security solutions, one of the most efficient ways to reduce risks in a shared workspace is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is one of the best network security solutions, as it creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet, making it impossible for anyone to intercept or spy on your online activities.
It’s also essential to keep your operating system and software updated and utilise antivirus software to protect your devices against malware attacks.
Wi-Fi Risks In A Co-working Space
Another network security risk when working in co-working environments is the public Wi-Fi network. These can be vulnerable to security threats. Without sufficient protection, hackers can easily intercept the traffic on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks and steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card details, and personal information.
To stay safe on public Wi-Fi networks, you can use a VPN to encrypt your traffic and protect your data. You should also avoid accessing sensitive information, such as online banking or email, on public Wi-Fi networks. Instead, use your cellular data plan or wait until you are on a secure private network.
If you operate a co-working space and need to ensure that Wi-Fi network is secured, take a look at our Managed Internet & Wi-Fi services.
Tips To Stay Secure In A Co-working Space
To stay safe in a co-working space, you should take some basic precautions such as:
- Make sure to regularly update both your devices and software with the most recent security patches.
- Create strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts.
- Steer clear of using public Wi-Fi networks when engaging in sensitive activities.
- Use a VPN to encrypt your network traffic.
- Secure your device by locking it when you step away from your desk.
- Avoid leaving sensitive documents or devices unattended.
- Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious behavior to the management.
- Download our free 12-point security checklist here. It will give you 12 essential steps to securing your business data.
In summary, co-working environments pose unique challenges, including access control, protecting confidential data, and securing shared networks and equipment. Both operators and users need to take proactive measures to protect sensitive information.
At 9spheres Technologies, we provide managed IT services that can help secure both the operators as well as businesses whose employees work from a co-working space. Our expert team can secure your network and devices, keeping them safe from potential cyber threats. Contact us today for more information.