Remote Work Makes Cybersecurity More Important Than Ever
The New Normal of Remote Work Makes Cybersecurity Basics More Important Than Ever
The past several months have brought about a number of changes, not the least of which is the number of people who have begun to work from home. While this brings certain benefits for both employers and employees, it also points to the fact that cybersecurity and the protection of sensitive data is more important than it has ever been.
In March of this year, large numbers of employees began working remotely, often bringing corporate devices home with them to enable them to do their jobs from their new home offices. With so many home workers, it is vital that companies take the time to review security best practices to defend against known vulnerabilities.
Here are some of the steps that companies and remote-working employees can take to remain secure:
- One of the most basic means of protection—but one that sometimes is not taken seriously enough—passwords are still important. If an attacker is aware of the employee’s username, it might not be too difficult to crack the password.
Passwords should be changed often and should not be related to personal information such as birthdates, pet names, or anything else that can be easily guessed. They should be a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. Passwords should never be shared and should be unique to each account.
- Multi-factor identification. This shouldinvolve at least 2 steps to improve security by requiring an employee to confirm their identity through additional means, such as sending a code to a mobile device.
- Up-to-date technology.Make sure to use proper firewalls and the most current patch for your security software. Next generation anti-virus software is recommended, as this type of protection can evolve like viruses, analyzing data rather than simply looking at signatures.
- Proper training. While technology is an important factor in keeping your systems safe, do not make the mistake of forgetting about the human factor. All employees should have current information regarding possible threats and how to deal with them. Having the necessary information regarding cyberattacks and the proper training on protecting themselves and the company is vital. If an employee encounters suspicious emails or attempts at gaining personal or sensitive information, they should have the knowledge to deal with the situation appropriately.
Employees should know not to share data with personal devices, as home computers and mobile devices may not have the latest security updates, leaving them vulnerable to attack. They should also understand that they are not to connect to the company network via any unsecured public Wi-Fi.
- WIFI connections should be checked for security. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) should also be used.
Ensuring your company’s security when employees work remotely requires attention and the conscientious application of a comprehensive cybersecurity policy. If no relevant plans are currently in place, now is the time to implement them.
Every business should assume they have either been attacked, are being attacked, or will be attacked. Fast detection and swift response are the small business owner’s only defense.
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