The current pandemic, alongside the ensuing lockdown and social distancing measures, has fueled a drastic change in the way we conduct many aspects of our lives. In particular, an increasing number of businesses have requested that their workforce works from home—a strategy that, despite its convenience, can be dangerous, especially if the right precautions are not taken.
While remote working has been revolutionary in the way businesses are run, it can also represent a vulnerable aspect without the right level of cybersecurity: the only strategy that can protect your communications, digital systems, and assets.
Get The Right Tools and Processes in Place
It is superfluous to say that, while remote working has saved millions of businesses during the pandemic, it also requires a speedy, streamlined adaptation process. Along with the measures you have taken to enhance productivity and security, it is paramount to understand what systems and tools can play on your side.
These include basic but tailored tools such as:
- Email protection systems
- Data back-up strategies
- Multi-factor authentication
Additionally, your teams should be instructed to use the equipment, platforms, and systems that have been tested for security.
Be Aware of Phishing Attacks
Phishing incidents are among the most common cyber attacks, and they can easily lead to identity and data theft. Most of these attacks begin when the attacker gains access to log-in credentials or emails—something that makes it necessary for your teams to be trained on how to recognize phishing attacks and attempts.
Here is what they look like in most cases:
- Domain names that are misspelled or seem fake (i.e., @appl.com instead of @apple.com)
- Evident grammar or spelling mistakes in an email
- Unexpected attachments or suspicious links; you can check links by hovering over a link and gaining more information about the URL before deciding whether to open the link or not.
- Threatening legal action or other negative consequences threats for not complying to demands or responding
- Unexpected or strange-sounding payment requests. In this case, your staff should be trained to never pay through an email link.
Always Use MFA
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a simple yet powerful strategy that allows you and your teams to protect credentials, data, and accounts. MFA works by requiring the user to submit two or more pieces of information to access an account or service. The “factors” might include:
- Something the user knows (i.e., a password, code, or PIN)
- Something the user has (a physical device such as a fob or phone)
- Something the user is (by using a fingerprint, face scan, or other biometric indicators)
An example of MFA you might have experienced include ATMs: they will ask you for a card (something you have) and a PIN (something you know). You can implement this system in your company’s accounts and add a layer of security to your assets.
Train Employees on General Safety Practices
Your employees are your most important asset, but they can also represent your biggest threat if they are not trained, especially when it comes down to cybersecurity. Indeed, working from home, remote cybersecurity, and all of their implications might still be topics unknown to most professionals.
As a director or manager, it is your duty to train your employees about the importance of cybersecurity, as well as the measures they can take while working from home.
Some of these safety measures will include:
- Only downloading files and documents from reputable sources
- Installing updates as soon as they become available
- Avoiding unknown pop-ups and emails
- Using a secure Wi-Fi connection
- Using strong passwords that are more difficult to hack
- Backing up files and data
Work with an Experienced IT Company.
Ultimately, your business is unique, so your cybersecurity strategy should be, too. However, finding and implementing cybersecurity measures that will provide an all-encompassing security layer can be challenging. Thus, consulting a professional IT expert can help you identify the strategy that fits best with your company and goals and allow you to regain peace of mind and raise your cybersecurity standards. An experienced IT company providing comprehensive cybersecurity services will also provide, test, and evaluate the systems implemented, assessing them against real-life drills, examples, and situations.