How the pandemic gives cybercriminals the advantage
Cybercrime is a very real and present threat in the age of COVID-19. Working from home, in particular, has presented cybercriminals with new avenues through which to attack you online.
Here’s a rundown of how the pandemic has given cybercriminals the advantage and some tips for securing your business when your employees are working from home.
Cybersecurity threats when working from home
Working from home has become the norm over the last year as the world deals with a spate of lockdowns. But while business owners were dealing with issues of productivity and oversight, the real threat is corporate IT’s decreased control over devices, software, and user actions.
Here are just a few ways working from home gave cybercriminals an advantage.
As we shifted to working from home, many companies came up short when it came to providing employees with corporate equipment. Instead, they allowed staff to connect to the office IT infrastructure from home devices – devices that are often poorly protected. This resulted in an increased risk to the business’ IT landscape and infrastructure.
Unsecured channels for remote work
In the typical office, IT administrators take care of securing Internet access. However, when employees work from home, they set up their own routers and networks. In practice, this increases security risks.
Vulnerabilities in collaboration tools
When in a physical office, workers could edit documents and attend meetings in person. In the new world of remote working, the need for videoconferencing software and digital collaboration tools has increased dramatically. This growth in demand has, in turn, attracted interest from cybercriminals.
How to stay secure when working from home
Now you know some of the potential risks of working from home, let’s take a look at some solutions.
Use antivirus software
Businesses typically do a lot to protect company computers from malware. They install security solutions, prohibit workers from installing applications, restrict online access, and so on. It’s harder to achieve that level of protection from home but leaving a computer used for work vulnerable is a bad plan.
To keep your documents and information as secure as possible, it’s essential that you advise your workers to install a reliable security solution on every device that handles corporate data.
Stay up to date
Vulnerabilities are constantly being found in operating systems and applications – vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can easily exploit to infiltrate other peoples’ devices. It’s essential, then, that you ensure your employee’s programs and operating systems are always kept up to date with the latest security patches.
Educate your workers on the importance of installing updates and patches and ensure they’re being carried out.
Configure Wi-Fi encryption
Protecting a computer is only step one. You also have to protect the Wi-Fi and the router. A compromised router will give cybercriminals access to everything your workers send or enter online.
You must make sure your worker’s internet connection is encrypted to keep information safe from cybercriminals. Wi-Fi should always ask for a password when people try to connect to it.
From there, there are several Wi-Fi encryption standards to choose from. Your worker’s best option is WPA2. They can use their router settings to select or change your type of encryption.
Update the router login and password
If your workers have never changed the password and login required to enter their router settings, they should do so as soon as possible. The default passwords for most routers are not only weak, they’re also easily searchable online.
Use a VPN
If your workers are using a strange internet connection, such as free cafe Wi-Fi then they should take extra precautions. Public Wi-Fi networks are often not encrypted and even when they are, anyone can access the password.
To prevent others connected to the insecure network from spying on your workers, they should use a virtual private network or VPN. When they connect through a VPN all their data is encrypted meaning outsiders won’t be able to read it.
Cybersecurity isn’t to be taken lightly. Now you know some of the threats your business faces when your workers work from home and how to better secure your business against them. Contact us today to see how we can help.