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Today we’re joined by Senior Information Security Consultant, Steve Mason to discuss how working from home has affected our online security.

Remote working has become the norm during the pandemic and it’s proven that it can be an effective way for people to have a good work-life balance.

But with working from home comes many security risks, we need secure Wi-Fi connections, virus-free laptops, and to be working in environments where we can’t be listened in to.

Steve is an information security expert and as data security risks for homeworkers have shot up, he’s here to explain what we can do to negate this risk.

We talk about the general security risks of working remotely, and the importance of businesses taking this seriously and creating effective processes to mitigate that risk across their business…

You’ll learn

  • How our approach to technology is changing.
  • The increased security risks involved with working from home.
  • The necessity of training your staff in home security.
  • How to access our policy around virtual meeting room security.
  • How to improve your home security and safety.
  • How to reduce the chances of getting a virus or trojan.


In this episode, we talk about:

[02:30] The added difficulties involved with improving remote client’s security.

[04:06] The benefits of using company devices and the security risks of using your own device and working from home.

[05:47] How to know you’re using a good VPN and adequate virus protection.

[06:36] Using a working from home policy and the benefits that can have.

[09:30] How to monitor employee’s software usage if they are working remotely.

[10:50] Issues some remote workers have with backing up their documents securely.

[12:17] The ways working from home affects your home insurance.

[14:09] The importance of fixing all security weaknesses you become aware of.

[16:56] The necessity of proper security training being given to staff working from home.

[18:38] Security in virtual meeting rooms and the policy we created around that.

[21:10] The main risks involved with working in public places like a coffee shop.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 27001 – Contact us!

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This episode’s guest has experienced at first-hand what it’s like going from Chaos to Calm amidst the impact of the Coronovirus Pandemic, and how she has slipped into seamlessly delivering her work remotely, which typically would have been done face to face.

Lorna is founder and Director of Leonard Business Services, and is almost at the end of completing an ISO 9001 implementation project, so I thought it would be good for Lorna to share her experience of working remotely amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic and her experience of being audited to ISO 9001 remotely.

Top tips for remote working during a Pandemic

  1. Keep calm and carry on
  2. Keeps spirits and morale high with group online sessions – just 10 minutes is fine to share a hobby or fun group activity, or half an hour on Friday at the end of the day to share ‘end of the week’ drinks (virtually)
  3. Keep connected – 15 minutes ‘start the day’ get-together.
  4. Plan your agendas to work remotely to maximise your time.
  5. Use the time for reflection on how you can operate more efficiently
  6. Review resources and optimise on investments made (people/products/process)
  7. Consider ways to operate more sustainably after ‘Lockdown’ i.e. remote working to avoid travel/CO2 emissions.

To quote Lorna ‘Keep calm and Carry on’ as we continue to adapt to the situation.

Contact us to grab a copy of our Remote Working Guide at:

Click HERE to learn more about Lorna’s business, Leonard Business Services.

If you would like to learn more about IS0 9001, we have an ISO 9001 Steps to Success series available to listen to HERE.

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I think it’s important to acknowledge the reality that we all face right now whilst in the midst of a global pandemic, both as individuals, families and businesses.  Sadly, there is very little that we can control about the situation, other than staying at home and follow the governments guidelines to reduce the disease spreading and deaths increasing.

However, what we can control if how we respond to our situation, and to try and embrace this period of isolation as an opportunity, because we have to quit literally stop our normal way of working and living.  So, this enables us to objectively reassess what is working in our business and what isn’t.

Which brings me onto the topic for today – Making remote working work.

So how do you make remote working work for you? Well it partly comes down to the tech, but if you’ve got the confidence in yourself and ability to communicate, its actually really easy.

So how did we go about it? Well, we sent out a communication to all clients that all our services were to be delivered remotely.  We then provided training for the Team and created one of our internal WOW’s which is Way of Working, we put it to the test, each employee had to test Microsoft Teams and off we went, rocking and rolling out remote way of working.

We then published a ‘Remote Working Guide’ for our clients, so they knew exactly what to expect.

What to expect

 we utilise Microsoft Teams which is available to everyone at the click of a link. As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, then work can be carried out remotely which is the same as if we were together in a physical environment.

We are able to deliver ALL of our services remotely including the implementation of systems compliant to ISO Standards and ISO Support Plan services. This includes, but is not limited to:- –

  • Internal audits
  • Certification body support i.e. Annual Surveillance, re-certification and assessments
  • Updating your policies and procedures
  • Facilitation of Workshops i.e. H & S, Environmental, Information Security and Business Continuity
  • Training and awareness sessions;
  • Gap Analysis
  • Facilitating/chairing Management Review Meetings/information
  • Reviewing and updating legal registers

The only possible limitations for remote working include –

  • Certain risk based ‘site’ audits where we have to observe the physical work environment and assets.

However, whilst there are a few limitations, Blackmores is able to offer alternative methods to continue work –

  • ‘Model Checklists’ for physical security or environmental or health and safety walk rounds can be supplied for you to undertake, with photographs taken. Alter-natively, a remote audit could be undertaken using a mobile phone so that the camera can be used to record the ‘walk’.
  • If you have a camera available you can video the aspects we need to observe i.e. Fire exits, storage of chemicals. This can either be via a live stream or recording on a device i.e. mobile phone, webcam.

The benefits of remote working

  • Productive method of working – well organised agenda.
  • Reduces your company environmental footprint.
  • Reduces our environmental footprint.
  • Allows several people to attend the remote audit/workshop/meeting to reduce travel time and avoids accommodating additional people to reduce meeting space.
  • You can work from the comfort of your own location i.e. office/remote/home at a time to suit you.
  • Enables you to carry on with other work/activities when we are not directly on-line i.e. report writing/lunch break/updating documents.
  • The sessions can be recorded if required and used for future reference i.e. Training employees.
  • Reduced paperwork – all evidence is shown online.

For a free copy of our Remote Working Guide, simply contact us at

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What our clients have to say

The support and advise I get from our assigned auditors is immense. Forward planning for the following year is great and they are flexible and always willing to help.

Kalil Vandi

“Blackmores have assisted us almost since the start of our adoption of the ISO 9001 quality standard. Their input has improved our processes since the start, and enabled our goal of continuous improvement to be achieved. The people are also extremely easy to get on with, and they really understand our business, giving us a great deal of confidence in their advice.”

David Gibson

Photon Lines Ltd

“Blackmores are the perfect bridge between working on your ISO as an individual or company, to being audited each year.  We find that any queries we have are covered and we feel sure that we have everything as needs be before going into an external audit.”

Mandy Welsby

Jaama Ltd

“We have been extremely impressed with the service and support provided by Blackmores.  There knowledge and assistance through out our ISO journey has been amazing!”

Philip Hannabuss

Dome Consulting

“Blackmores have really kept us on our toes with the broad scope and level of detail they apply to our internal audit schedule. They always stay abreast of ISO standard changes and help us to adapt our processes and documents to embrace these changes accordingly. Having Blackmores shadow our external audits provides invaluable confidence and peace of mind – would highly recommend their services!”

Phil Geens

Kingsley Napley

“Our ISO 27001 certification project has gone so well, that there was no doubt in who we were going to ask to help us with our aspirations of becoming ISO 14001 certified. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Blackmores, and we are really looking forward to working with them for the foreseeable future.”


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