The shift to remote working was initially triggered as a result of the pandemic and continued to remain in place by many businesses. However, this unexpected and rapid shift has meant that many businesses have not been able to prepare for the world of remote working. Employees have been using their personal devices and networks that are nowhere near as secure as those implemented inside the workplace.
In a 2020 Cyber Security Report, over 50% of organisations have reported experiencing both security breaches & cyber attacks. Moreover, 42% of organisations said that they were prepared to make the shift to remote working despite the major cyber security threat that has been caused due to Covid.
It is clear that the transition of organisations moving to remote working has caused greater challenges in terms of keeping data and technology secure from cyber attackers. Many employees have failed to follow some of the basic security procedures and protocols resulting in vulnerabilities that have allowed cyber attackers to gain easy access to their data. A lot of employers have also allowed employees to use their own devices and network when working which lacks the level of security that most organisations follow inside of the workplace.
We have collated some of the best practises for those that are working from home in order to minimise cyber security threats:
One of the most effective ways to keep your device safe is to invest in a sufficient antivirus software. Hackers will try to exploit people’s home networks in order to gain access to the businesses VPNs which can result in a lot of damage. An antivirus software will provide security against any attacks, malware, phishing scams, trojans and much more!
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Although VPNs are great for hiding your actions, location and identify when using the network, the process of connecting to a work VPN from home can cause ‘back doors’ that cyber criminals could potentially execute. One of the best ways to keep your VPN secure is through implementing two-factor authentication and regularly changing passwords.
Centralised Storage System
This could be a cloud or a server that you use to store files and data. That way if your local data becomes compromised or destroyed, you have a back-up of them on your external storage which you will be able to easily retrieve.
Be careful when using video-conferencing platforms
Remote working has definitely caused a bit of a trend in terms of video meetings and conferences. However this has also resulted in a lot of cyber security risks. Some of these platforms have built -in vulnerabilities which makes it easy for hackers to gain access and take control of the meetings and steal/compromise data. Ensure that if you are organising any video meetings that you secure them with a password and share necessary files through a much more secure system.
One of the most common ways that cyber criminals exploit and compromise data is through what we call ‘phishing emails’. These are emails that are sent with an infected link or file that when downloaded or clicked on will unleash malware on your device. They can resemble familiar emails such as from clients or friends which will cause you to not even second guess whether it is real or not. Therefore if you are not expecting an email from someone, be careful before clicking on it. Your antivirus software should also pick up on these types of emails and prevent them from doing any damage.
Your very own remote working cyber security checklist:
Have you got an antivirus software on your computer?
Encryption turned on your device?
Are you using a VPN when working?
Is your Wi-Fi secure?
Are all of your passwords secure?
Are you aware of the different cyber attacks such as phishing scams?
Are you regularly updating your system & software?
Is your two-factor authentication enabled where it is necessary?
Are you taking precautions when conducting video meetings?
Working from home is something that will stay with us for quite some time which is why it is so important to be aware of the potential risks and how to keep yourself protected. If you have any questions about keeping your organisation secure when remote working, speak with our IT specialists about how Solutions4IT can help your IT infrastructure stay secure at home. Call us on 0121 289 4477 or email email us at firstname.lastname@example.org