With employees working from the comfort of their homes on personal computers, and/or unprotected Wi-Fi networks, hackers have taken this crisis as an opportunity to gain access to company networks. Individuals who use their personal devices are at a much higher risk for targeted attacks. So, if your employees access company data on personal machines, it could compromise your business network. Your office computers are protected with multiple layers of cyber security (Firewall, antivirus, password policies, etc.), and supported by a professional IT provider, while home computers generally have fewer (or no) security protections.
It’s important to take precautions to ensure you are working from home securely.
Here are 3 simple steps you can take to limit your cyber security risks.
- Update your software
If you work with a good IT provider, your company computers should be updated and backed up automatically while you are in the office. However, this can be more challenging when you’re working from home – especially if you are working on unmanaged computers. Keeping your software up to date can prevent hackers from sneaking in using known vulnerabilities. Software updates include both security patches, bug fixes, and feature enhancements, so not only do they tighten security, they also improve usability and performance. If you don’t update your software regularly, you are essentially allowing cyber criminal to get into your computer and network.
- Use multi factor authentication
If hackers are able to get into an account, they can easily steal your usernames and passwords. And since a lot of people use the same password for everything, this could have disastrous consequences. They can access your accounts and hold your data hostage for ransom. To protect your accounts, enable multi factor authentication (MFA). MFA adds an additional layer of security and requires you to input an authentication code on top of your password in order to access your account.
- Avoid phishing scams
If you look through your inbox, you’ll see A TON of emails relate to Coronavirus. You’re probably getting emails from partners, clients, employees, vendors, and other accounts you’re subscribed to (e.g. Amazon). The emails may be about their services or a very enticing news article. Just be on the lookout for scams and emails trying to gather your information. And if you don’t know the person, DO NOT open a link in the email.
Taking the precautions above can go a long way to protecting your devices and data. During this crisis, the last thing you need is to take another hit because of a malicious hacker. These simple steps can limit the risk of a cyber criminal accessing your confidential information.