Work From Home Security Tips. Temporary measures to isolate employees during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak have transitioned into a more permanent, even desirable situation for some businesses and employees. The rush-hour traffic and nine-to-five workdays have faded away to make room for work-from-home schedules, flexible working arrangements, and a wealth of video-conferencing meetings.
Businesses have accepted that every home is a small remote office and all tables in the house including the kitchen and dining room tables, are shared office spaces. Every employee is connected like a remote worker and every home is a satellite office.
Every employee is connected like a remote worker and every home is a satellite office.
There are mainly two types of remote workers: those that use business-provided equipment with the ability to remotely work from anywhere and employees working on their own devices.
According to a Kaspersky survey, 68% of respondents worked from home using their personal computers. Remote workers also used their own devices for other at-home functions like entertainment, playing online games (31%), and watching movies (34%).
Working from the office has many cybersecurity benefits. Your device and the company data are protected by layers of security baked into the networks and systems that are designed to fend off cyber threats. Remote working provides employees with flexibility and convenience, however, home networks and devices can weaken your business’ security efforts and put you at risk.
Here are sound Work From Home security tips to ensure that you practice good cyber hygiene from home, a café, or any other location.
Secure Home Devices
If your employees are using personal devices at home, make sure they apply the same security practices as business-issued devices.
Software and devices should be updated regularly. 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) should be used to connect to any business system and there is some form of firewall and anti-virus installed on the device that’s kept up to date.
It’s always a good idea to enable a data backup strategy for your business data on your employee-owned devices. This may mean only using approved central file storage for files and other business-owned documents.
Make sure home devices are encrypted – it’s an important part of reducing the risk of lost or stolen devices and prevents strangers from accessing business content on the device if it’s stolen.
Make sure you use a trusted Wi-Fi network and that the router has been securely configured. That means changing the default password on the Wi-Fi router and making sure that you are using a passphrase or a strong password that is difficult to guess.
If you use a VPN to connect to the business network, it’s best to always keep it connected during business hours and especially from a network you can’t fully trust.
Always avoid public free Wi-Fi. If you need to connect to an untrusted Wi-Fi, make sure you aren’t using it to send any personal or business-sensitive information over the network.
SCAMs and Phishing
There has been a noticeable increase in pandemic-related scams. Be vigilant and cautious over email and phone calls. Take extra care when you receive emails or calls from someone you don’t know. Masses of phishing emails are sent to unsuspecting victims every day.
According to Imperva, the recipient of a phishing email is tricked into clicking a malicious link, which can lead to the installation of malware, ransomware, or the revealing of sensitive information. In some cases, the malicious files are embedded into an attachment or link to an attachment.
Good Password Practices
Strong passwords are your first line of defence in systems that are accessible on the internet.
Reinforce the need for employees to maintain good passwords practices, making sure passwords are unique and long for every system and device.
What can I do to protect my business?
Businesses are targeted through people – using phishing, malware, and online scams. Enable your business to become cyber smart and equip your staff with practical, ongoing, and relevant knowledge, tools, and ideas through a robust security awareness programme.