Staying Cyber Secure When Working from Home
In April 2020, the Office for National Statistics reported that 49.2% of adults employed in the UK were working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst working from home may increase employee satisfaction and improve productivity, it also brings an increased risk of cyber attacks through unsecured networks.
Companies will have robust systems in place in the office to help combat the threat of cyber attacks to ensure they are not compromised, but when COVID-19 hit and millions began working from home companies suddenly became very vulnerable as they relied on the security measures employees had taken on their home computers and devices.
Cyber security is one of the biggest threats to businesses, being compromised can not only result in financial loss but can also impact on the reputation of a company and the trust customers place in that company.
If sensitive data gets into the wrong hands the damage can be catastrophic and with more people than ever working from home it’s not only personal information that is at stake but also company data. Let’s take a look at the steps remote employees can take to improve their cyber security and stay safe when working from home.
WiFi and Network Security
Sharing a WiFi network allows you to access any device that is connected to it, such as your laptop, mobile phone and tablet. If an attacker accesses your router they will then have access to any device on your WiFi network and the information that is stored on it.
Ensuring that your WiFi network password is strong can help make it harder for attackers to compromise it. Human generated passwords are typically weak, with many opting for easy to remember (and guess) passwords such as ‘123456’, ‘qwerty’ or ‘password’. Instead choose a password that includes lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and other characters.
Use antivirus software to help keep your computer protected from a wide range of cyber threats, such as malware and spyware. Antivirus software will not completely protect you but it’s definitely a step in the right direction to preventing your computer from being compromised.
Virtual Private Network
If possible use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a VPN allows remote employees to connect through a public network that behaves like a private network. This allows you to connect and communicate securely.
Awareness of Threat
Raising the awareness of cyber threats amongst your team is a good step to ensuring cyber security. If remote employees are educated on the risks, such as email phishing, it enables them to be more vigilant and can help them spot the signs of fraudulent communications that could lead to a cyber security incident.