Working From Home Securely

Working From Home Securely

The latest advice from the UK government is that we can go to work if it is not possible to work from home and if of course, it is safe to do so. With many still not having a childcare solution in place or no alternative to public transport, working from home remains the only option.

Homeworking presents businesses and their staff with new challenges that need addressing.  It’s not just which apps are the best fit to maintain ongoing teamwork and collaboration that need to be determined. Cybersecurity is a major factor that, if ignored, can have serious consequences for the business. The forced shift from traditional working caused by the COVOD-19 pandemic has played into the hands of unscrupulous cybercriminals who are looking to take advantage of people working outside of their comfort zones in order to gain access to business data. BBC News highlights that online groups are preying on fears of the coronavirus and sending ‘phishing’ emails. The scams may claim to have a ‘cure’ for the virus, offer a financial reward, or encourage you to donate. However, if clicked, you, your employees or your colleagues could download ransomware to the computer and spread it across your company’s network.

Collaboration

Collaboration MUST  continue amongst your team, therefore they need to have the right tools so they feel empowered to do this. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) guidance on implementing Software as a Service (SaaS) applications can help you choose and roll out a range of popular services, such as chat rooms, video conferencing and document sharing. Microsoft is even offering six months of Microsoft Teams for free to help businesses during the pandemic.

Secure Your Home Workstation

Make sure you have fully patched and updated anti-virus and anti-malware software installed. It’s important to follow the same best practices you would as if you were in the office, and report any suspicious activity or concerns to internal IT or your Managed Service Provider.

Use a Secure WiFi Network

If possible, you should work on your secure, private home network instead of relying on public WiFi. If you send your data through an unsecured WiFi connection, you lose the power of privacy making it possible for cybercriminals to intercept your data. You may be putting personal information at risk if you are accessing your email account or sending sensitive data over a public WiFi network. It’s essential to ensure your network is secure through the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and a strong password that isn’t easily cracked.  The benefit of VPNs is that they are encrypted network connections that allow remote workforces to securely access the company’s systems. And if you need to set up new accounts or accesses so your team can work efficiently from home, you should set strong passwords for user accounts. We definitely recommend you implement two-factor authentication (2FA) if available.

Coordinate With Your Internal IT and/or MSP

When working remotely, it’s crucial to continue your typical cybersecurity best practices and reach out with any questions or concerns. If something has happened to your device, early reporting may help minimise the risk to business data.
By providing clear and basic information this will help you and your teams stay connected and ahead of cyber threats. If you would like further advice on remaining productive, without increasing cybersecurity risk don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

For advice and support on working from home securely, give our experts a call on 0203 744 6689 or email us today.

Note: For official information about coronavirus, please refer to trusted resources such as Public Health England or NHS websites.