The widespread of COVID 19 has not just resulted in global disruption, but it has also changed the cybersecurity landscape. Over the past two months, we are noticing behavior changes of bad actors and observing waves of coronavirus related cyber-attacks.
According to Cloudflare, online threats have increased by six times then usually over the past four weeks. It is all because the pandemic situation is providing new techniques for attackers to launch an attack. The threat actors are leaving no way to exploit this pandemic.
The world is practicing social distancing due to which people work from home. It is for the first that people in unprecedented numbers work remotely. With this, companies are providing employees with desktop deploy collaborative software and deploy VPN infrastructure to access internal tools. Organizations are concerned about cybersecurity because of the increasing number of online attacks. The Zoom app vulnerability has put both employees and employers in great worry.
Well! Not to worry much about it. In this post, we’ll be discussing some cybersecurity tips that help you, too, safely and securely from home. But, before we get into the main topic, let’s first discuss some online threats to remote workers briefly.
Online Threats to Workers
The following mentioned below is a list of a few of the online threats that remote workers must be aware of
- Scams Targeting Workers: An increase in malicious campaigns targeting remote workers. With the majority of the employees lacking work opportunities, there is an increase in the prevalence of work from home scams.
- Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks: Most workers working from their homes are unaware of the security of their Wi-Fi. But, many of them might be using unsecured Wi-Fi networks that are the prime spots for malicious groups to spy on your internet traffic and gather confidential information.
- Using Personal Devices and Networks: Several workers might be forced to use home networks and personal devices to perform work tasks. These might lack the necessary tools needed for business networks like robust antivirus software, firewalls, and automatic online back-up tools. This all increases the risk of malware, finding its way onto devices and risk their both personal and work-related information getting leaked.
Security Tips for Staff Working Remotely
Usually, at work, there is an entire team that is responsible for looking after your online security. However, at home, it is you who have to pay attention to it more than yourself. It is crucial when you are using your own devices and network. Here are a few tips that might help you to make your remote working experience more secure. Let’s read on.
Create and Use Strong Passwords
It is essential to ensure that all accounts are protected with robust and unique passwords. However, many people still use one password across multiple accounts. It means that all it takes is one weak password for a criminal to take over your accounts. They take leaked passwords and usernames and attempt to login to other online accounts. This technique is called credential stuffing.
Make sure you use a unique password with a combination of upper and lower case, numbers, and special characters. As it is difficult to remember every password; thus, it is advised to use the best password managers. They create, remember, and auto-fill passwords for you.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Having a strong password is sometimes not enough to protect from cybercriminals. However, by enabling two-factor authentications, you can make things work for you. It includes an additional step to add an extra layer of protection to your accounts. It can be an email or text message confirmation, biometric methods like facial recognition or a fingerprint scan, and even anything physical like a USB fob.
Use a VPN
The majority of the people are well aware of the use of a VPN. VPNs are an efficient tool to circumvent geographical restrictions on various streaming sites along with other region-specific content. As a VPN tunnels your traffic through a server in the location of your choice, it is ideal for location spoofing.
Another vital role of a VPN is to boost our online privacy. It encrypts internet traffic and makes it unreadable for anyone who intercepts it. In this way, your data remains safe from the spying eyes of the ISP, hackers, and government agencies. However, not all VPNs are safe to use as they are now fake VPNs, too whose primary purpose is to collect and sell users’ data. Thus, always go with paid VPNs for a high level of privacy like the best VPNs for Kodi.
Secure Your Router
Many workers are unaware of the risks associated with their home routers. It is essential to take some simple steps to protect your home network from malicious parties. The first and foremost important thing you can do is changing your router password is annoying.
However, there are other steps too that you can implement. Like for instance, make sure firmware updates are installed so vulnerabilities can be patched easily. Use encryption to WPA2 or WPA3. Also, restrict both the incoming and outgoing traffic and switch off WPS.
Perform Regular Updates
Updates to device software and other applications are somehow annoying, but they are imperative for online safety. It includes patches for security vulnerabilities that have been unveiled since the last time when the software was released. Set automatic updates to run, so you don’t have to worry about the downtime.
Back-Up Your Data
There are various ways by which data can be lost. This includes human error, physical damage to hardware, and cyber-attacks. Ransomware and malware also wipe out entire systems without having a chance to spot it.
Hence, there are several reasons for backing up the data. One of the most effective and convenient ways to store data is in the cloud. The back-up cloud services come with several options enabling you to customize your back-up schedule and storage options.
Set Up Firewalls
They act as a line of defense to prevent threats from entering your system. They create a barrier between your device and the internet by closing ports to communication. It helps in preventing malicious programs from invading and can stop data leaking from your device. Your device operating systems have a built-in firewall. Moreover, hardware firewalls are built-in in several routers. Make sure that yours are enabled. However, if you don’t have firewalls by default in your device, then don’t worry, there are plenty of reliable options available in the market. Go with these options for enhanced security.
Be Cautious of Coronavirus Related Emails
Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this situation. Be aware of senders claiming to be representatives of WHO with information or any news regarding the pandemic or companies such as Amazon and Netflix asking you to verify your account information. Phishing emails create an impression of urgency and compel you to click a link.
Furthermore, emails sent from people you know, but asking for your data are susceptible so, verify with the person by phone if possible. If you believe that you have received any suspicious email, inform your IT department about it so they can investigate before you click or open any links.
All the tips mentioned above helps the employees act safely with company devices and information no matter where they are working. But, as an employer, it is your utmost responsibility to formalize working from home. Follow these steps and safely work from home.