As we combat the pandemic, working remotely has become the new normal for a number of people around the world!
Millions of us are now trying to make sense of this black swan event by following work-from-home strategies, using our home ISPs, and using conferencing tools like Zoom, Slack, and Google Hangouts for easier collaboration.
However, this also has a very serious implication. Cybersecurity experts say that it is a hacker’s paradise!
Did you know? There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds on any given day, according to a study by the University of Maryland.
If this startling fact was made before we even started working remotely, imagine the new cybersecurity threats that would have arisen by now.
In this blog post, we reveal top 8 tips to overcome potential threats of working remotely. Let’s dive in!
What are the cybersecurity risks while working remotely?
Before we delve into the tips, let us quickly take a look at some of the most potential threats you might encounter while working remotely:
- No physical security
- Communication gap
- Simultaneous VPN connections not supported
- Lack of proper implementing access, authorization, and authentication policies
- Weak data backup implementation
- Disk encryption for all endpoints
- Unsecure Wi-Fi connections
- Easy logins and passwords
What are the best practices to overcome cybersecurity risks?
To avoid being a victim of a cyber-attack, here are some best practices you must implement:
1. Set up firewalls
Preventing threats from entering your system, firewalls create a barrier between the internet and your computer. It closes ports to communication, thus helping malicious programs from entering. While your computer already has a built-in firewall, it is important to check if it is enabled.
2. Use an antivirus program
While a firewall can help, threats can still manage to get through! The next line of defense is to have a good antivirus software installed in your system to block and detect malware.
3. Safeguard your home router and avoid public WiFi
When was the last time you changed the password of your WiFi at home? (or worse, is it even password protected?). Changing the password of your router is one of the first steps that you can take towards security. Make sure that –
- Encryption is set to WPA2 or WPA3
- Inbound & outbound traffic is restricted
- WPS is switched off
Make sure you don’t use public WiFi as it is mostly unsecured and using it will lead you to be the victim of a man-in-the-middle attack.
4. Connect to VPN
Creating a secure tunnel between your computer and the final destination on the internet, VPN lets you send confidential information without any worry since it encrypts the entire internet connection!
By connecting to a Virtual Private Network, you can easily connect to the internet without worrying that your sensitive information might be tapped.
5. Have a backup strategy
“Data loss is like doing your taxes: nobody likes it, but it’s inevitable”
Data might be lost by physical damage to hardware, human error, cyberattack, and ransomware. Clearly, these reasons are enough to backup your data before losing it forever. While hardware backups are still popular, cloud backup is one of the most convenient ways to protect your data.
6. Use strong passwords
Having a strong password is the first line of defense! Your password should be a perfect mix of upper and lower case characters, numbers, and special characters!
It is a good idea to make use of password managers such as KeePass to help generate, protect, and keep track of strong passwords for your online accounts.
7. Lock your device
If you thought you were only supposed to lock your laptops at work, think again! It is absolutely necessary that you lock your device if you live with people you can’t share work information with.
8. Beware of phishing attacks
Phishing attacks have been on the rise! According to Barracuda Network researchers, a total of 9,116 phishing attacks were directed related to the pandemic. So, next time you come across a link with positive information about the cure for coronavirus, beware! It most probably is a hacker.
Now that you’re working from home, it is time for you to be extra judicious and careful. If you happen to see a tempting link with information about let’s say the cure for Covid-19, beware! Chances are that it is a hacker trying to do what he does best–invade your device.
Prepare for cyberattacks well in advance before you’re a victim by taking the necessary safety measures in place.
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