Employees are increasingly taking precautions to work remotely as the Coronavirus continues to spread. It is important that you do not neglect or ignore the security and safety of your company’s data and network during these stressful times. Here are our top tips for working remotely.
1. KEEP WORK DATA ON WORK DEVICES
Although it may seem tempting to use your tablet, mobile phone, or home computer to work remotely from your office, this poses a serious security risk to your company. Your personal devices may not be running regular updates, antivirus scans, or blocking malicious websites. This makes them a potential target for hackers. You should always use your computer and devices at work, secure Wi-Fi and a VPN when working remotely. All of these will be discussed below.
However, you should not use your home computer as your office computer. Michael Tarasuik (our Systems Engineer) said that a VPN is a way to open a gap in your company’s network. It is no safer than taking your laptop to work and plugging in the VPN. This is extremely risky. Even with my skills, I do not mix work and personal computers. Your work machine should be used for work, while your personal computer should be used for personal. However, you shouldn’t give your children access to your work device or grant permission to use it. They aren’t trained to spot malicious and risky links, and they can click on anything that could expose your network to malware attacks.
2. MAINTAIN AN UPDATED DEVICE
Regular system updates are essential in order to fix any bugs or anomalies within your system. This is not just for your computer but also your phone, tablet and other devices. You can do the same! Hackers can easily exploit vulnerabilities in your system if you don’t update it. Hackers exploit these vulnerabilities by writing code that targets the weaknesses in your system.
Software updates can fix security holes or vulnerabilities, remove bugs, and even add new features to an existing feature. Software updates can make your system more stable, and increase your program performance.
Anti-virus, antispyware and anti-malware programs are all subject to this. New viruses, spyware, or malware are constantly threatening your system. These software updates include the most recent files to fight the latest threats that could possibly cripple your system.
3. TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
- What is two-factor authentication? Two-factor authentication is a method of increasing the security of your online accounts. It requires two types of information. First, you will need to create a username and password. This is not the time to immediately gain access to your account.
- You will need to give another piece of information, which could include:
- You know something, such as your PIN or the answer to a security query
- You have something you own, such as a credit card or smartphone
- You are something you are like your fingerprints or an iris scan
While two-factor authentication can be a bit more time-consuming and annoying, it is worth it in order to protect your online accounts.
4. AVOID PUBLIC AND UNSECURE WI-FI NETWORKS
Your company and yourself are at risk by using public Wi-Fi networks. This includes sensitive login credentials and data. These networks can be used to distribute ransomware and malware.
Never give out sensitive or personal information. This includes banking information, personal and work email addresses, social media accounts, and other sensitive data.
Never leave your tablet, phone or computer unattended.
Public WiFi is not a good option for shopping online. You can be easily hacked if you enter your credit card information or address.
Use your Virtual Private Network (VPN) whenever possible. VPNs can encrypt all data and information that you send or receive over public WiFi.
When you aren’t using your Bluetooth, turn it off. Hackers seek open Bluetooth signals to gain entry to your devices.
When you’re not in a safe area like your home or office, turn off automatic WiFi Connectivity. This is a very convenient feature. However, your device can connect seamlessly to unsecure WiFi hot spots without you knowing or consenting.
When working in public, it is important to keep your sight lines clear. If someone is right next to you or behind you, they will be able to see the data you are accessing and watch you enter login credentials.
5. BE AWARE OF ‘JUICE JACKING’
What is Juice Jacking? Juicejacking is when criminals infect phones and other electronic devices with malware. These charging stations may be found in airports, hotels, and malls. Once the device is connected, malware can install itself to export data, passwords, or even lock it.
How can you stop it?
Public charging stations should not be used
- You can bring your own AC adapter and cables with you to charge your battery when you travel.
- Never charge your phone with cables or a computer from another person.
- Here are some additional cybersecurity tips for travelers who travel often:
- Make sure to regularly update your operating systems, software, apps, and other applications. These can cause data loss and be a pain while on the road.
- Backup all your data to protect your device in the event of a loss, theft, or damage.
- Don’t share your travel plans via social media. Criminals shouldn’t know where your home is.
Pay attention to Wi-Fi that is not secured at public locations such as airports, hotels, and restaurants. Accessing Wi-Fi requires that you do not access any sensitive data. VPN is recommended if you are going to shop online, or need to access your bank account.
Do not use public computers to gain access to sensitive data.
6. Use a VIRTUAL PRIVATE NECTRO (VPN).
VPNs hide your IP address to protect privacy and anonymity. Each business must ensure that employees have access to the company’s network and other key applications via VPN using a device provided by them. You should be aware of the risks associated with not providing a device for your company to access its network.
Remember that VPNs may slow down internet speeds, so be patient when using VPNs to work remotely.
7. SETTING UP A FIREWALL
Firewalls are a firewall that protects your computer from the dangers of the internet. Firewalls can be programmed with malicious programs and websites blocked, as well as to prevent sensitive data being transmitted from your network.
Most likely, your router and device have a firewall. However, you need to verify this with your IT team and ensure that it is enabled before you can work remotely.
8. REMOTE SECURITY PROTOCOL
When working remotely, you should follow the same procedures as when working in an office. This includes:
- Use your email personal for work purposes only.
- Use only vetted software and avoid using online messaging. This can pose security threats.
- Make sure your security and antivirus software are up-to-date
9. REGULARLY BACK UP ALL YOUR DATA
Data loss can not only be caused by natural disasters, but also through human error, hacking, malware, hardware failure, and human error. It is essential to back up your data frequently while you are working in the office, and not only when you work remotely.
10. USE STRONG PASSWORDS
For malicious attackers, passwords and usernames are the key to the kingdom. Criminals with the ability to hack into a company’s defenses are able to easily steal hundreds of passwords or thousands at once, each one representing another entry point to compromise your network and data.
Did you know that 76% will use the same passwords on most websites, if any, as well as all other websites?
It is important to use complex passwords and long passwords for all accounts. It is highly recommended that they be changed regularly.