As the COVID-19 (commonly referred to as the Coronavirus) pandemic unfolds “stay at home” lockdown orders for nonessential businesses have been issued across the United States. Vigilance and cyber safety remain critical at this time. Cyber-attacks and phishing scams have been escalating since the beginning of the year. Attackers know that very few people are actually physically working from the office at this time, yet they can gain access and harm the entire network when everyone returns back to work. Here are a few practical considerations for employers and their employees to avoid cyber risks associated with working remotely.
Businesses need to assure remote technology is in place for the organization as well as reasonable network security measures such as strong access controls for applications and systems, multi-factor authentication and endpoint detection and monitoring. More importantly, organizations need to work towards creating a company culture that is aware of cyber risks and practicing cyber safety. Even if the protocol is as simple as forwarding any suspicious e-mails to the IT department or specified individuals, employees know how to respond. Training on an ongoing basis becomes essential to instill this type of culture.
Employees can take several steps to increase security as a remote worker, including the following:
- Use strong passwords with a consistent password reset policy
- Set guidelines for personal data retention on user devices
- Keep all user names and passwords safe and in a secure location;
- Do not open any attachments or click on any links in e-mail messages that are unfamiliar or not from an email from someone you know
- Regularly update software programs on personal devices
- Use anti-virus and anti-spam software on personal and business devices
- Consider changing administrator passwords and other settings on home routers and network systems consistently.’
- Educate all staff connecting to the internet or network using simulated phishing emails and also online video training (knowbe4)
Such steps should be encouraged by employers for all employees working remotely and remind employees of the likelihood for an attempted cyber-attack disguised as Coronavirus concern.
Apogee can help with each of these critical areas of protecting users and their data. We understand this is a time of uncertainty and want to be there for you and your company. Contact us today: https://www.apogeeitservices.com/contact-us