There have been dramatic effects on IT security teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies have halted travel, moved to a remote workforce, and integrated several new technology platforms.
With the majority of employees now working from home, there are a new set of challenges for IT teams to ensure the safety of company information. While remote work arrangements are currently the safest option for employees and employers, it is critical that companies have a solid remote cybersecurity strategy.
There are several steps that employees can take to ensure the safety of information and systems while working from home.
Protect devices with antivirus software
It is crucial that employers install powerful antivirus software on all company-owned devices to prohibit employees from installing unknown applications, restrict online access from cyber-criminals, and provide an additional layer of protection workspaces to an employee’s home workspace.
Update all programs and operating systems
Almost everyone has fallen guilty to clicking the “remind me in an hour” button when tasked with updating programs or restarting a laptop once new updates have been made. Unfortunately, new vulnerabilities are constantly being found in applications and operating systems. It is important to regularly update all installed programs on.
Use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks are not often encrypted, and anyone can intercept everything you send or enter online including passwords for remote access. When connecting to public wi-fi at a coffee shop or other remote location, it is important to connect through a VPN, so all data is encrypted regardless of network settings.
Change passwords regularly
Passwords are the first line of defense to protect sensitive information. It has been reported that 80% of cybersecurity attacks involve a weak or stolen password. Changing passwords regularly prevents access, limits breaches to multiple accounts, and reduces the risk of a successful cyber-attack.
With the continued rise of remote work, cybersecurity will remain at the forefront of IT conversations for the remainder of the year. It is imperative that companies and employees remain vigilant to prevent a cyber-attack that could threaten their business.