Companies, teams, and professionals, in general, are working under different circumstances since the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, employers and team managers should ensure that operations are running smoothly under the umbrella of cybersecurity and home office protection. We have already dived into the telecommuting advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we aim at concentrating on the cybersecurity solutions and data security best practices that professionals working from home should implement in order to resolve any upcoming issues.
Educate your workforce on the importance of cybersecurity
Naturally, the responsibility of teaching employees the ways of acknowledging and facing cybersecurity work-from-home challenges lies in the hands of the employer. Of course, the ideal scenario would be for everyone to avoid cybersecurity risks by following the best data security practices. Especially during this remote working period, security measures should be even stricter since all of the more people are operating from their home offices.
Most importantly, your team members should be able to identify possible cybersecurity challenges. They should know to avoid whaling, spear phishing, email scams, and any kind of suspicious attachments. At the same time, they should always know the signs of a domain hijacking or typosquatting attack and act accordingly. Apart from training them to cyber fight back, you must also educate them on how to protect data, devices, and work-related networks.
The emergence of the home office brings new matters to the front in terms of security. Therefore, employers and managers should make sure that the following best data security practices are implemented by their teams to a tee.
Shield your internet connection
An easy way to protect your professional operations is to separate your home network. By having a guest network, you can have an internet connection only for your laptop or desktop during working hours. You should also change your router password. So, do not keep using the one written on the back of the device. Instead, opt for password complexity and make it harder for others to find it. Not to forget that you should also encrypt your router by activating WPA2 or WPA3 security methods.
Encrypt your devices
This is a security policy that many companies follow. However, in the wake of COVID-19, the need for device encryption has become essential. Thus, companies that encode their data make it difficult for hackers to possess valuable or sensitive information. Unauthorized eyes will not be able to view any information in its normal form since the encryption turns it into incomprehensible lines of symbols. Some usual solutions are BitLocker for Windows and FileVault for Mac.
Keep in mind that software related to your work (communication apps, time-tracking software, project management platforms) should always follow data encryption. They should also apply firewalls, create access levels and keep a vigilant watch over your customers’ information.
Every computer user should have computer protection. All the more reason to use antivirus software if you are a professional working from home. There is a variety of malicious threats (viruses, adware spyware, trojans horses to name a few). So, the AV software of your choice will be charged with safeguarding all work-related devices. This way, you get to prohibit anything from infiltrating your computer and your employer’s database.
Start using a VPN
In today’s highly technological world, VPNs have become an extra layer of online protection. Of course, companies that provide employees with technological devices are responsible for the procurement of VPNs. The employer should acquire enough VPN accounts in order to offer the appropriate cybersecurity solutions and accommodate the business needs of whole teams. But, one VPN license for multiple devices and the same credentials may leave room for potential security risks. Simultaneously, the bandwidth offered by a simple VPN license may be reduced due to the usage by many users.
On the other hand, being a freelancer does not mean that you should omit to get yourself a VPN. It will protect your IP and business information leading to safer business management. Moreover, it is a good idea to install the program on all the devices that you usually use for work. This way, you can protect your online activity when working from your laptop, mobile phone, or iPad.
Focus on password complexity
Your router is not the only password-protected device. In reality, you cannot access much online without a password anymore. Therefore, your secret codes should be long, complex, and with special characters. Remember that by having a “skeleton” password that you use for every account and software; you leave yourself unprotected in the online world. For example, your dog’s name, your favorite Marvel character, or your date of birth do not qualify as strong passwords. Especially if you use them by themselves. If you add numbers, capital letters, and punctuation marks, then the password combination will likely be acceptable. However, if your team already uses or intends on using password manager software, then you can get auto-generated complex passwords without much effort.
Keep your home office protected
Apart from implementing cybersecurity solutions, you should also be sure that the physical aspect of your remote working situation is secure. For example, you should lock your home office or activate the alarm during the time you are not home for extra protection. This way, you will be protecting technological equipment and important data from possible burglaries. In an ideal world, you have your own office space. This means that you can lock your office when you finish work. By doing this, your home office will be safe. Especially if you have children that tend to play all around the house and possibly unintentionally damage something.
The right cybersecurity solutions for your team
Data security best practices paired with the right software for your business can protect all the unique elements that make up your team. So, your devices, your online activity, and by extension the operations that your team runs should not be left to fall prey to intrusive eyes or harmful malware. The best cybersecurity advice is to find the tools that match your business needs. Then, you should monitor processes and online activity frequently. Plus, never ignore the importance of password protection.
All these actions will build your emergency security WFH plan. Of course, as you learn more about the invasive forces that lurk in the cyberworld, you will be asked to face new cybersecurity challenges and fight to make your business stealthier than ever.