Over the past months, many business owners have been searching for resources to assist their staff with a remote work environment. As part of this process, business owners should take into consideration cyber-security techniques that will help to prevent a potential data-breach. Below are a few suggestions that should help your business provide a secure remote workforce:
It is highly recommended to use company equipment that has been configured with anti-malware and anti-virus software. Also, do not let any other member of your household use the company computer.
Be aware of increased phishing attacks focused on the Corona Virus. Do not click on any links unless you are absolutely sure it leads to a secure website.
Secure Home Router
Make sure you have changed the Admin password on your home router along with the SSID password to access the router.
Virtual Private Network
VPN’s provide a secure link to your company’s data. VPN’s are used to encrypt and add another layer of protection to your company’s data. Find out if your company provides a VPN to their network.
Operating System Updates
Verify your computer has automatic updates set for your operating system, anti-spam, anti-malware, and any other software you are using. This will help to keep security patches up to date and hopefully prevent any hackers from accessing information.
If available on your software solutions, use multi-factor authentication to help secure your accounts. In most cases, you will receive an email or text message with a code to type into the system to gain access.
Adhere to the agency password policies and make sure you have at least 10 characters in your password. Passwords should include uppercase letters, lower case letters, symbols, and numbers.
Your business computer should be set to log-out within 10 minutes if not in use. Make sure you do not leave the password out for someone to steal. (No password sticky notes!)
Try to find a place within your home where you can close the door and work without interruption. Put a sign on the door Do Not Disturb.
Virus Protection and Anti-malware Protection
Make sure your computer is up to date with the latest version of your virus and anti-malware protection software. Set each of these to automatically install updates.
Incident Response Plan
Make sure every remote worker understands the agency’s Incident Response Plan. Know who you need to contact within the organization in case of a potential data-breach.
For emails that contain Personal Identifiable Information (PII), make sure you encrypt them before sending.
Make sure you have a plan for backing up your system. Today, there are many different solutions for cloud-based backup which work well for remote workers.
Cyber crime has increased exponentially over the last two years, and it's our responsibility to actively fight it within our agencies. We take Cybersecurity VERY seriously around here. So much so that we offer tools, resources, and trainings to agencies to assist in developing a cyber-safe (remote and in-office) workplace! If you are unsure of the level of Cybersecurity at your agency, contact us, and we would be happy to help you gauge it.