The recent significant increase in employees working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic brings with it an increased risk of cyber security threats. Cyber criminals are well aware that IT departments and cyber security groups are stretched thin during the pandemic, making them more exposed to attacks.
In fact, according to a recent survey, one organization saw phishing and cyber attacks rise by 40 per cent. With 25 per cent of Canadian organizations now going entirely remote and 85 per cent going remote with at least half of their workforce, it’s important to keep cyber security measures up in this new landscape of increased remote working.
Here are 5 tips to take into consideration and keep you cyber safe while working remotely at home:1. Connect to a virtual private network (VPN) if possible
A VPN can provide a direct connection to the organization’s normal applications, similar to if the employee was connected directly to the organization’s network. This can hide the user’s IP address, encrypt data transfers in transit and mask the user’s location. If the organization already has a VPN, ensure that it can handle the extra bandwidth from the sudden influx of new remote users.
2. Ensure software is updated
All devices being used for work should be secured with up-to-date firewall, antivirus, anti-malware and data encryption software.
3. Train how to detect a phishing attack
Educate staff on how to recognize a phishing attempt, such as emails that request private information, use a generic introduction rather than your name, have spelling errors or use a suspicious email domain.
4. Enforce basic cyber security practices
Reinforce the importance of basic cyber security practices, such as using strong passwords and connecting to a hot spot or encrypted web connection instead of public Wi-Fi.
5. Send contact reminders
In the event of stolen materials or identifying a possibly malicious link, the switch to remote work may create uncertainties as to how to contact the IT or cyber security team. Send your employees a reminder with the proper contact information for IT-related questions or concerns.
With the increased usage of technology in people’s lives to stay connected while mostly working from home, cybersecurity threats have also become a growing issue and require proper assessments to manage any security gaps and risks that can harm your business.
Therefore, it’s important to conduct proper cyber assessments to mitigate the possibility of having your company’s cybersecurity system breached.
Get a FREE Cyber Risk Assessment to see if you're properly protecting your business from cyber risks: