During the on-going pandemic COVID-19, almost everyone has to work from home to help curb the spread and to keep the work-life going. However, hackers have found an opportunity in this situation to exploit vulnerable networks and attempt to attack for sensitive information.
Hackers are taking advantage of remote working and the fact that employees might not have the same cybersecurity that they would in a corporate setting. Recently, the FBI also issued a warning regarding a hike in cyber crime considering the increased activity by hackers who are misusing people’s need for information.
It has thus become essential for employees to be mindful of the cybersecurity threats and be sure to protect them self along with any sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands. A few points that could help strengthen cybersecurity in remote working are as follows:
Beware of phishing emails: The most common way of breaching cybersecurity and hackers stealing important data is through phishing emails. Especially now considering the pandemic, people are so curious about current status of the world situation that they are eagerly looking for information online. This makes them easy targets for hackers. It is very important for an individual to confirm that the email is sent from a trusted user before opening any links or files received on it. Checking spelling or grammatical errors in email ID or email body is an easier way to spot such phishing emails. If your company has hired a cybersecurity consultant it is always a good idea to consult with them on how else could you be safe from such phishing emails
Do not click on malicious links: After phishing emails, it is crucial to avoid opening and clicking on links that might not be from verified sources. To breach the cybersecurity, hackers have turned towards using COVID-19 as a click bait for users to open the links or apps. This should be kept in mind while employees work from home to protect the security of their device from getting breached. For organizations that have partnered with agencies that provide cybersecurity services, they will surely be able to filter malicious domain URLs and keep the employees updated about such malicious links
Make sure that your Wifi network is secure: People who are not used to working from home might not be aware of the cybersecurity threats that entail in remote working. Such users might sometimes not even have proper security on their WiFi network. Many people still have their WiFi network settings on default. This could be one of the major loopholes that hackers try to get a hold of in order to violate cybersecurity. It is immensely important to keep your WiFi network secure and also to make sure that it is used only by your trusted people
Keep unique & strong passwords: Many users practice keeping one password for all their accounts. This is one of the poorest decisions a person can make. It would take only one compromised password for a hacker to get a hold of your account and so to a lot of sensitive data. Employees should make an effort to keep complex passwords and even multi-factor authentication to add a layer of cybersecurity to their accounts.
Update system & software: System and software updates are usually taken lightly by people especially for their personal devices. It is crucial to understand that these updates help protect your devices from unwanted cybersecurity threats. Employees should make sure to update their systems and software timely on both their laptops and mobiles which are non-corporate but being used while working from home.
Make use of Virtual Private Network (VPN): A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps in encrypting your internet traffic and in improving your privacy online. VPN makes the data unreadable for anyone who intercepts the communication. This can help keep a safe connection between the employees and corporate and also ensure secure access to corporate tools and data. Additionally, it acts just like a firewall does in a corporate by giving protection against cybersecurity attacks like phishing and malware attacks.
Be careful of what you install or download: A cybersecurity training consultant in Miami mentioned that installing or downloading apps that might be suspicious leaves you open to various cybersecurity threats. Employees should be mindful to not download anything that they wouldn’t download in their office devices.
Keeping in mind such simple and straightforward steps could help address some of the common cybersecurity threats faced while working from home. We should also be aware that the threats are not static and one should be updated about the evolving threats to avoid any serious repercussions. Cybersecurity consultants are usually a great help in such situations.
Cyber criminals are taking advantage of a global pandemic to attack people online. Even though these are tough times, we should be vary and aware. It is highly important to take precautionary measures to protect our selves and our data from such threats.