Productivity

Why working from a hotel or coffee shop isn’t worth the risk

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While the hospitality industry may be embracing the Work From Anywhere concept, it still lags behind flexspace in terms of cybersecurity

When the current lockdown restrictions ease, there will be millions of homeworkers seeking a change of scenery. Many, like you, may look to the hospitality industry – hotels, bars and coffee shops – which have pivoted to offering themselves as alternative workspaces to attract the WFA crowd. Hotels in the UK and US, in particular, have begun to advertise day room reservations for professionals seeking a quiet, distraction-free working environment.

Yet, while it might at first sound appealing to work from your favourite coffee shop or smart boutique hotel room, the potential risks of doing so far outweigh any benefits. The main issue is cybersecurity – namely connecting to a public Wi-Fi network to access work-related or sensitive information. With 68% of business leaders already feeling their cybersecurity risks are increasing, is it a chance you want to take?

In the US, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently issued a warning about the risks of connecting to public Wi-Fi, reporting an increase in cybercrime with hackers targeting public networks with limited security in order to infiltrate the personal data of those who use it. It noted that locations were most at risk if they had outdated networking equipment or hadn’t updated or ‘patched’ their systems often enough.

A safe and secure solution

One way to protect your business from cyberattacks while WFA is to consider using flexible workspace, which itself offers a safe and secure solution.

“We work with lots of leading vendors in networking and security on a daily basis,” explains Ran Haer, IWG Information Security Manager. “Our sole objective is to ensure that we are equipped with the right tools and equipment to ensure our customers work in secure environments. Plus, we’re always pushing our providers for new ideas on how to make our networks more secure.”

Additional security

To ensure your work is optimally protected, it can be worth seeking out flexspace that comes with extra protections. Regus now offers a High Security Private Network (HSPN) – an extra secure private network just for your business – and your business alone.

The HSPN gives businesses an additional layer of security through its three parts: a private Wi-Fi network – accessible only by your teams; a private wired LAN network – accessible only in your private office; and three private static IP addresses – to securely connect your devices.

The product is being piloted in Singapore and Hong Kong, and will roll out to other regions in 2021.

“Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important for businesses,” explains Sebastiaan Willen, IWG Group Commercial Director, Technology Services. “The stakes are simply too high to ignore. It’s in every company’s interest to reduce the risk of cybersecurity breaches as much as possible to protect themselves and their customers. We want to give customers the option to add an extra layer of protection and functionality at a very affordable price.”

Willen says the HSPN will help customers who are dealing with confidential data, whether that’s financial, customer, legal or medical. “Regus’ standard security centre network is perfectly safe – it has the highest security standards a shared network can have,” he says. “However, a shared network will always be less safe than a private network. On top of that, High Security Private Network provides extra functionality that will allow customers to share data between devices, connect their own printers and much more.”

The last word

But surely a coffee shop is OK if you just need to work for a few hours? Not so. The cybersecurity risks are still there no matter how long or short your stay is. For a safer alternative, why not look for a desk, coworking space or meeting room that’s bookable by the hour, day or week? This way, you can enjoy all the benefits of secure flexible office space as well as the freedom to come and go as you need.

Regus’ High Security Private Network comes at a single, all-inclusive price for office customers, regardless of office size or the number of users, connected devices, or workstations. Want to order or need more information? Contact your Community Team or email us at it.services@regus.com