Identifying and Avoiding Cybersecurity Threats When Working from Home

The COVID-19 crisis has halted the normal operations of companies worldwide. Offices started to adopt work-from-home setups for their employees. Stores closed down and moved their operations online. The social distancing component of the crisis means people are working and communicating online more than ever. This is nothing new. Organizations have been hiring people from all over the world to work for them remotely. But if your company is treading this unfamiliar scenario, here are some things to do to protect your data from cybersecurity attacks:

Update Your Systems

Part of setting up your home office is updating the operating system of your computer to prevent SpectreRSB attacks. You should also check for firmware, browser, and antivirus updates. Making sure that your PC is protected from all kinds of cyberattacks is the best way to prevent data breaches and stolen credentials.

Enable Multi-factor Authentication

Whenever possible, use multi-factor authentication to get into apps and software. Your banking apps, for example, will usually ask for a fingerprint ID and password before you’re allowed to transfer funds to your accounts. A multi-factor authentication setup will provide another layer of protection and security for all your online transactions.

You might also want to look at using a password manager. This can prevent the unintentional sharing of passwords because the password manager will encrypt the information. These are not shareable and cannot be deciphered without using high-tech password cracking tools.

Use a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) will route your computer’s Internet connection through another private server than your Internet service provider (ISP). You can make it look like you are working from any part of the world through a VPN. When you send data from your computer, the data will come from the VPN and not your computer. Thus, this protects your computer from being attacked by cybercriminals.

Create a Backup Strategy

What happens if ransomware gets into your system? It can erase all data and documents important to the organization. Work with your bosses and coworkers on how and where to back up data. If your office has a cloud account, you can continue backing up the data there as long as your computer is protected from any kind of virus. You never know if you could be unintentionally uploading a virus on your organization’s cloud account.

Communicate Securely

using laptop

When communicating with colleagues, make sure to use only the devices approved and secured by your office’s IT department. These devices have a range of software installed that will protect it from any kind of cyberattack. If you communicate using your personal device, you are putting the whole organization at risk.

Assess Emails for Scams

You don’t have to be working from home to know that you must assess emails before clicking on any links contained there. Be suspicious of emails from people and companies you don’t know, especially if they are asking you to click on a link or provide more information. Verify this information first with your coworkers before opening any link. These could be phishing scams.

Everyone should understand the increased cybersecurity risks once you work from home. Improving the security protocols in your communication and collaboration will make sure that your data remains safe from cybercriminals. This is a practice that should be followed whether you’re working in the security of your office or your home.

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