Safely working remotely

As the Novel Coronavirus pandemic continues to greatly impact our nation, working from home is no longer an occasional benefit for many Americans, but is now a requirement for many businesses to continue operating safely and effectively. While working from home does come with its perks, there are many new cybersecurity risks created when employees make the transition to a remote work environment.

Moving your work from the office network to your home network sounds simple enough. However, it is important to keep in mind that your office network was carefully planned and secured with complex technologies to minimize the potential for threats from viruses and cyber criminals. 

Home networks largely do not have such technology and as such are much more vulnerable to cyber attacks. 

Make sure you understand best practices. Now more than ever it’s important for you to stay up to date on cybersecurity. If your organization has an ongoing training program, make sure you’re actively participating. Scams like phishing only INCREASE when employees are working remotely – you must stay in the know on current threats and best practices

​Make sure you understand your organization’s policies and procedures. If you’re working remotely, your organization should have a Remote Work Policy. Make sure you have read and understood that policy and what is expected of you. You should also continue following ALL company policies and procedures as if you were in the office.

Don’t use public Wi-Fi for work. Work should be done from a secured network, preferably in a home environment and with company equipment. It is also highly recommended that you connect to your company’s network with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). If you are unsure of how to do that, contact your supervisor or IT for more information.

Keep all software up to date. Updates/patches are often released to address security flaws and other loopholes or risk factors. Keeping all devices updated is critical in preventing unauthorized access

Do not use your company-issued device for personal use. It is advised to stay off social media, shopping sites, or any other websites you may visit in your free time when using a company-issued device. Only do secure, company work on company devices and time.

If possible, use only company-issued devices for work. Do not let friends or family members use your company-issued device.

Storing work related data on a personal machine may violate company security policy. 

Be mindful of where you save files and data. Do not save files on your local or personal hard drives that may be more likely to be breached. Do not use any file sharing programs like Dropbox or Google Drive without ensuring it does not conflict with company policy.

Use strong, unique passwords. Make sure your passwords for your device and all of your accounts are strong and unique. Never reuse the same password across multiple accounts, and do not share your passwords with others.

We offer both video conference and interactive cyber security training programs. 

Employee training is a crucial component to your security solutions. 

Written security policies are important. They provide a framework for your business upon which to build your security solutions. They also provide employees, contractors, and principles a written set of rules for the use of company resources. Security policies are also required for regulatory compliance.

Your own home WiFi may not be secure. If you are unsure, we can help you with making the determination and fixing it if it is not.

VPN - or Virtual Private Network - is a secure connection directly between your home office and your work office via the internet. VPN's must be properly configured to ensure security.

You know those pesky Windows or Mac updates that are always popping up? Don't ignore them. They are crucial to fixing security problems in your computer. Your Adobe, Google Chrome, Firefox, Word and many others also have regular security patches published. Failing to keep these patches up to date could expose your network and data to cyber attacks. 

Using company resources for non company purposes could create a security problem. 

67% of companies that suffered data breaches in 2019 had antivirus software that was up to date. 

It takes more than antivirus software and firewalls to keep our data secure. 

There are many options for storage. From external hard drives to numerous cloud storage options. Many of which may not meet with your company security policy or with regulatory compliance laws. 

Network-iQ can help you determine the best way for you or your company meet those requirements. 

Passwords are the weakest point in any level in security. If someone accesses your credentials, your content and your vital information are at risk. The less complex and shorter your password is, the less secure it is. The more extended and complex, the more difficult it is for hackers to compromise it. 

Network Threats do Not Stop When the Office is Empty!

Having regular check-ins with your clients or their team members via video conference is a great way to answer any questions that they may have during this time, to keep engagement high, and to help keep safe practices in place.

Employees may get more comfortable with their work from home role, but we cannot let them forget to keep cybersecurity as a top concern.