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Cyber Security For Remote Workers

Every single aspect of human life has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic that has taken over the World in ways nobody could have ever imagined. One of the biggest changes on the professional front is the practice of working remotely which is now becoming a routine for the majority of US workers.

Before the Corona Virus breakdown, working from home was a luxury that only around 7% of the population had access to. However, this is not the case anymore. A survey by a signal boosters company, based in California, revealed that approximately 85 million Americans have been working at home due to the lockdown across the country.

Whilst many see this as a positive step, one of the negative results is that security breaches have increased. Users and IT providers need to be aware of this and take steps to prevent it where possible.

Below are some of the tips that can be used by the employees to safeguard their data from cyber-attacks.

NETWORK SECURITY
  • Use VPN (Virtual Private Network) – VPN will let the employees connect to the organization’s internal network. This will not only prevent attacks on remote locations but also tail off the traffic on public networks.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi – Public Wi-Fi services are not secured internet connections to be used for work devices.
  • Secure personal Wi-Fi network – The passwords of the personal Wi-Fi network of the employee needs to be strong. Easily predictable passwords such as mobile numbers, date of birth, or one’s name need to be avoided.
  • Filter out internal network access – Depending on the requirement of the work role, employers may filter out the employees who need access to the complete internal network of the organizations and those who need minimum access.
  • Authorize users – The cloud applications used by the workers has to be made more secure with the help of multifactor authentication.
 
PHISHING
  • Unauthorized emails from healthcare officials – The scammers take advantage of the agitation caused due to Coronavirus and send fake emails posing as government agencies asking people to download malware. This may lead to giving away one’s credentials.
  • Suspicious emails from a colleague – Any emails from a colleague asking for any unexpected personal details need to be cross-checked via a phone call.
  • Tempting links or file attachments – Employees need to be wary of any links that look interesting or the file attachments that are sent by unknown or distrustful email addresses.
 
PERSONAL AND WORK DEVICES
  • Provide corporate equipment – To avoid any breaches to the company data, providing the employee with a machine from the organization is advisable.
  • Anti-virus when using a personal machine – If the employee is using a personal laptop or computer to log-in to the network, he/she may have to make sure that updated anti-virus software is installed on the machine.
  • No personal use policy – Accessing any website or application via the machine used for office work should be avoided. This also includes keeping the devices away from the kids at home.
  • Personal email access – Employers should ask their workers to NOT use their personal email address even in case of emergency as those cannot be monitored and kept safe by the IT department of an organization.

 

VIRTUAL MEETINGS
  • Review audio & video settings – Before starting any official conference calls, the employee should be directed to review all the settings related to the meeting to make sure that there are no unnecessary features enabled.
  • Monitor attendees list – The host of the meeting is advised to scan through the attendee list before the meeting starts and at the end of the call. Examining the list during the call would be a good practice to affirm that no unknown participant has joined the meeting at any point.
  • Additional passwords – The employees may be provided with an additional password separately that can be used while joining the web meeting.
  • Avoid the use of social media to coordinate – The employer needs to ensure that the meeting URLs or passwords must not be shared via any of the social media platforms.

***These protocols need to be reviewed by the employer periodically to ensure that the employees are following them unfailingly.

By following some of these basic precautionary measures, the security of the company’s confidential and sensitive information can be prevented from getting compromised.