COVID-19 has brought on a raft of challenges and changes. One of the most significant shifts is organizations transitioning to remote work, which has sparked concerns on productivity communication, cybersecurity. Apart from getting the appropriate tools to maintain performance,
companies should also put in measures to ensure everyone can connect to networks remotely and safely.
Many organizations are seeing a spike in cyber threats and suspicious activities due to the work from home movement. Two of the biggest threats are phishing scams and malware. In particular, malware is a major concern because once a remote worker’s device becomes infected, it can spill over into a connected office network.
Meanwhile, hackers are using phishing attacks to target employees by sending deceptive emails. These emails usually include a malicious link or attachment, and if an unsuspecting employee clicks on it, a hacker can access the user’s device and steal confidential information. Video Conferencing tools such as skype and zoom are also seeing an increase in phishing attacks.
Then there is the issue of personal or public Wi-Finetworks that usually have weaker security controls. Some employees use easy-to-guess passwords or set up WEP instead of WPA-2. These weak controls are a security hazard as criminals can break through and access a work laptop or computer.
Therefore, companies and individuals need to follow clear and effective cybersecurity strategies to protect networks and secure confidential data.
The first thing to do when working from home is to ensure the Wi-Fi network is secure. The way to do this is by turning on encryption (WPA2). This security control is designed to protect information sent over personal Wi-Fi networks so hackers cannot read it. If your router does not come with a WPA2 option, then it’s time to update the software or switch it out.
Another way to keep work data secure is through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The advantages of using a VPN are that they allow you to encrypt internet traffic and protect any data that is transmitted between your personal network and your company’s network. Companies can set up a VPN connection for all connecting devices. But if that is not available, employees can install an app on their own computer through a reputable service provider.
If the budget is available, employers should ensure remote workers carry out their duties on a work-issued laptop. It is easier for security teams to monitor and track remote workers using a work laptop than their personal computers. Personal work should not be done on work devices; neither should their passwords be shared with family or friends.
A simple username and password login are not enough to adequately protect a company’s IT network. Go one step further by adding multi-factor authentication, especially when assessing data or sensitive systems.
Strong passwords can prevent a data breach. Organizations should encourage employees to use unique passwords with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols for their work devices and all other accounts. They should also be encouraged to use a different password for every account.
It’s time for organizations and employees to prioritize cybersecurity in their workplaces. As digital threats increase in frequency and sophistication, it is essential for everyone to make sure security measures are in place to safeguard company data and customer information. Apart from individual efforts, corporations should ensure that their IT department is always vigilant about the threat environment and holds regular training sessions to instruct employees on how to stay safe.
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