If you’re working from home it means you’ll need to rely on a few skills, such as managing Zoom meetings, being productive and self-motivating, and modifying your home office to meet your job’s requirements (updating your computer setup is often necessary). You may not be aware that cybersecurity skills are essential for work from home success.
Since you are working from home, your company’s data is susceptible in different ways, and you must understand how to safeguard it. Luckily, you do not have to be a genius to know how to protect yourself from cyber-attacks. It’s possible to grasp these cybersecurity fundamentals by making a few easy modifications to common behaviors.
Working from home is more common than ever, though this can come with security concerns. It’s imperative to take steps that improve cybersecurity for all employees, whether they are completely remote or have a hybrid schedule. Before we introduce critical cybersecurity measures that safeguard your business and employees, lets discuss why cybersecurity training benefits everyone.
What is Cybersecurity Training, and How Does it Benefit You?
Cybersecurity training aims to teach employees about possible risks in information technology systems (IT). This includes the capacity to recognize any security dangers that may arise when working online or with computer systems.
Cybercriminals breach into systems using a range of methods, with new techniques being developed regularly. The training of workers in recognizing signs of concern, preserving sensitive information, and reducing the likelihood of criminals gaining access to their data and accounts is essential to reducing the chance of being exposed to cyber threats that could put the entire business at risk.
Phishing emails, browsing suspicious websites, and even social networking in the physical world may threaten your company’s security. By putting up an effective cybersecurity training plan for your organization, you can educate your staff on their responsibilities to safeguard critical corporate information.
The Advantages of Cybersecurity
According to Gallup statistics, more than 60% of workers worked from home during the coronavirus outbreak, which has been termed the “world’s biggest work-from-home experience.” Numerous organizations are already actively reaping the advantages of working with a remote staff for the first time. This, however, comes with more significant dangers of cyberattacks.
“Studies have revealed that individuals are often the most vulnerable point in an assault. According to Clinton Daniel, the head of the Information Assurance specialization for the University of South Florida’s MS in Cybersecurity program, “we are susceptible.” He points out that companies have less influence over employees’ conduct when they work from home and are less able to secure corporate data as readily as they used to be able to: individuals must adjust their own behaviors and learn the basics of cybersecurity.
Remote workers might benefit from security awareness training by IT consulting organizations, which can help reduce their risks.
Protect the Environment in Which You Work
There are common and countless resources that improve the protection of your physical location; you wouldn’t leave the office without locking the doors and most workplaces have video surveillance outside. However, for many remote workers, operating in a separate room with a locked door may not be an option due simply not having the space or privacy. Advice to counteract this is simple: If you’re working from the kitchen, for example, “make sure your computer is pointed towards the kitchen walls, not the sitting room,” so your roommates can’t see it, Daniel advises.
When participating in virtual meetings, it is recommended that you use headphones and try to find a place removed from listening ears. A crowded coffee shop may not be the best place to take a meeting where sensitive information could be shared. Check with others in your meeting to ensure they are likewise in a secluded place before addressing anything sensitive or private. Take additional care if you are in possession of sensitive information.
Installation of an alarm system in the house is recommended, but often not required. Instead of using your own devices, use company-issued protected devices such as laptops and tablets. If you don’t have access to a business device, you may request that your company’s information technology department encrypt your laptop or tablet.
Develop a Data Security Policy
To begin, you must first develop and implement a data security strategy. You should collaborate with your company’s management and information technology department to find the strategy that best fits your organization. The policy should include best practices for managing corporate data, the security procedures that workers must follow, and how the company may assist them in complying with those policies. This is quite a lot to take on, and it’s wise to have a reputable cybersecurity services provider to create a plan and implement it for you.
Malware Should be Avoided
Malware is software intended to do anything detrimental to a computer’s operating system. It can follow your keystrokes, activate the camera on your laptop, steal data, erase files, just to name a few ways it can threaten security. You may most often encounter malware in the following two ways:
An email link will be sent to you. You may check if a link is legitimate by hovering your mouse over it until a view appears. Make sure you don’t mistakenly click on anything. If the mail seems suspicious, send it to your IT department.
You should avoid visiting or downloading attachments from websites that are unknown or seem to be untrustworthy. In other cases, you could even come across a malware-infected USB. Refrain from using devices that do not belong to you or are not issued to you by your employer.
Other easy ways to safeguard yourself from an attack:
Keep your security software updated, and think about putting a firewall in place.
Make use of the default security settings on your browser.
If you visit a site and your system informs you that it is not secure, proceed with caution.
Exercise caution while installing “free” software from unknown sources.
“If you don’t recognize a program, or if you are offered to download other ‘combo’ software, refuse the extra package or quit the installation.
Pop-ups should be avoided at all costs.
Chain emails should be avoided at all costs.
Check That Your Internet Connections are Secure
People who work from home need to be able to access corporate systems and write emails to colleagues and team leaders without worrying about the security of their internet access. Hackers may get access to important information from a network that is not protected. This might include confidential material maintained by the organization and the private details of the worker who used the unprotected connection to log in.
It’s essential to ensure your remote workers aren’t utilizing public Wi-Fi connections, like those available in coffee shops, to keep your network safe and secure. In fact, it’s important to discourage the access of any company information on public networks. Request that distant workers connect to your company’s virtual private network (VPN) to increase security.
Provide Employees with the Appropriate Tools
Ensure your remote employees are protected from online threats by giving them a secure VPN and antiviruses but don’t forget about the additional tools and information they may require. Features like password managers and spam filters should be included. Workers can better concentrate on getting their jobs done while they do not have to waste essential hours thinking about security.
Your network security systems for remote workers must also be regularly updated. When it comes to mobility management, your firm may want to consider investing in a platform that can instantly wipe a device of crucial information if it is lost or stolen.
Educate Employees on the Need of Using Strong Passwords
Surprisingly, many workers continue to utilize passwords such as “12345” and “qwerty” despite today’s increased awareness of cybersecurity. While not all workers may use passwords as weak as those, they are nevertheless more likely to use weak passwords that could even include their birth dates or initials. It’s best to avoid using passwords that are obvious to hackers. The use of solid and diverse passwords to provide optimal security is vital for all employees.
One way to ensure that your password is secure is to mix up the letters and numbers you use in your password. Another thing to look out for is workers who use the same passwords for many accounts. Each account must have its own unique password. Password managers should be used to streamline the process for staff by keeping a record of all passwords and securely storing them in protected digital vaults, as well as generating ultra-secure passwords.
Encourage Employees to Use Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
Multifactor authentication (MFA) may help remote workers safeguard their private information and corporate data when logging into their accounts. The system requires users provide different ways of authenticating their identities before they are permitted to log in to their accounts. For example, authentication might be accepted using a text message, email, or voice call.
Provide Company-Issued Devices to Employees as an Additional Layer of Protection
We tend to forget that remote workers may be working on computers and other devices that are not even password-protected, may be running out-of-date software, or pose any number of other security risks. If you have remote workers, you need to ensure that they are following these guidelines while using company-issued laptops and when accessing company information through the cloud or your business’ computer networks on their devices. Requiring your remote workers to use just the company-supplied devices for any work-related activity will help guarantee that your company’s data is secured.
Many new security concerns have risen because of the fast move to remote working. The confusion, curiosity, and uncertainty accompanying organizations’ attempts to manage changes in the cybersecurity environment and a scattered workforce have prompted cybercriminals to adapt their techniques. Due to the possibility that remote working will continue to be a regular occurrence, it is critical to limit the risk of cyber-attacks through improved cybersecurity awareness training and establishing an attitude of online security, even at the individual’s residence.