IT and Information Management Unit guidance on remote working

IT and Information Management Unit have the following advice and guidance for staff working remotely.

Working remotely

Measures to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 will involve more staff working remotely. Although working remotely is an extension of the workplace, and staff would normally have the same access and functions as if they are still working in the office, these are unprecedented and challenging times for both staff and the NICS’s technical infastructure and network. 

The following guidance is designed to that ensure staff are aware of their continued obligations in protecting personal data, and applying good records management. Any deviation from normal information management/security practices must be cleared through your Information Management Branch/Unit and be approved by your SIRO.

Any cyber or data security incidents that happen whilst staff work from home will be treated in exactly the same way as if they happened in the workplace.

We should all remain vigilant for suspicious emails and ensure that we only open emails that are from a trusted source. If you have any concerns regarding an email please report it to IT Assist.


  • personal PCs or tablets must not be used for Departmental work
  • take extra care that work devices, such as your laptop, tablet, or phone are not lost or misplaced
  • ensure your work laptop/tablet, is used in a safe location, for example where you can keep sight of it, and minimise who else can view the screen, particularly if working with sensitive or personal data
  • ensure your work laptop/tablet is turned off and stored carefully when not in use
  • colleagues working from home should not be printing departmental information. If you need to print information, you should make arrangements to attend the office and print to one of the Multi-Function Devices (MFDs)


  • work email accounts must only be used. Information should never be shared via personal email accounts, as it is not a safe way to transmit official records or information
  • before sending an email, ensure you’re sending it to the correct recipient, particularly for emails involving large amounts of personal data or sensitive personal data
  • the current email guidelines in relation to three month rule and mailbox limits will still apply

Network access

  • IT Assist will very clearly be experiencing a high volume of calls and requests and staff should exercise patience, should they experience issues in connecting to the NIGOV network, or in the actioning of a Service Request. During such an occasion you should contact IT Assist on 0300 123 4155 and it would be beneficial to note this number should this be the case

Cisco Jabber

Cisco Jabber provides a facility for staff to instant message, or audio conference call. The how to link sets out how staff can apply this.

Staff can find further information on data protection and records management on their departmental intranet.

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