Cyber Security and Working From Home

Since the inception of COVID-19 there has been a significant increase in people working from home, and as lockdowns and restrictions ease people are remaining at home. COVID has redefined the modern workplace and consequently, IT support and digital and cybersecurity protocols need to keep up with this evolution to ensure protection for your business and workforce. Whilst working home has a wide range of benefits it can open businesses and staff to cybersecurity risks and as a result, precautions and considerations should be taken to reduce any cybersecurity threats. Common cybersecurity issues, such as phishing, are typically managed by office digital and IT support departments; however, when your workforce is dispersed it can be challenging to manage these cyber attack attempts. With a cyber attack occuring every 39 seconds, it’s never been more important to ensure you are protected. Thankfully, there are measures and precautions that can be taken by a remote workforce to reduce the likelihood of any cyber issues.

Set Strong and Frequently Changed Passwords

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself when working from home is to ensure that you are using a strong and unique password to maximise your password protection across devices and platforms.

It is recommended that you have a unique password for each device and platform, so that should one be breached your other platforms are not impacted. Your password should include a variety of symbols, numbers, upper and lower case letters, and not be something easily guessed like a pet’s name or your birthday. Changing your passwords regularly can also help mitigate any potential breaches, as old passwords become devoid of value once updated and can’t be used in a cyber attack should they become compromised.

Use antivirus and internet security software

With a wealth of malware out there, investing in a highly secure antivirus software is invaluable for your business and your team.

As hackers are evolving their techniques and strategies to exploit vulnerabilities of those working from home, these attacks could leave your business open to DDoS attacks, malware, spyware, and ransomware attacks. Antivirus software can help protect your business across a variety of breaches including malware, spyware and viruses, trojans, worms, phishing scams, and zero-day attacks.

Running in the background, antivirus software is one of the best strategies to utilise to keep you and your business safe and protected.

Multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication is a security measure that requires multiple proofs of identity for verification prior to granting access to a platform or device. To do this, the software requests a combination of something the user would know (pin, privacy question), something they have (card, token), or something unique to the individual (fingerprint, eyescan).

As multi-factor authentication is quite challenging to bypass, incorporating this level of authentication mitigates potential breaches and can alert you to a breach attempt should one occur.

Patch Operating Systems and Software

Patches refer to software and operating system updates that address security weaknesses within a software application or product. When software updates become available, vendors will typically make them available for download on their website or via an app store if it’s a mobile device. Installing these updates as soon as they become available can help to protect your phone, laptop, computer, and other devices against digital and cyber attacks.

Take care to ensure that any updates that are downloaded from trusted vendor sites, and that you are not downloading software via a link in an email. Attackers will often use emails to direct users to malicious sites under the guise of a legitimate site or service and as a result, users will inadvertently download malware to their device.

Who Can Help?

Cybersecurity can be intimidating, particularly when your workforce is remote or you don’t have experience within the field. Atlantic Digital specialise in cybersecurity for businesses of all sizes. Utilising the ACSC Essential Eight, a series of baseline strategies extracted from the ‘Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents Document’, Atlantic Digital’s IT Support can help you to maximise your digital security. To learn about how you can improve your cybersecurity and ensure your business and workforce are protected from cyber threats and attacks, reach out to our expert team today!