As many companies adopt work-from-home (WFH) policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity is a growing issue. The workforce has access to confidential company data, enterprises must consider the consequences of working from home in terms of system access, access to internal IT infrastructure and data repatriation.
The fear of unauthorised access is way higher during these times as hackers know a large portion of the population is working from home. Every small and medium business needs to have a strong access control policy defined for its employees.
Here are some approaches one can take to minimize these risks:
Secure your home network
Even if you have a separate work laptop provided by your office, while working from home, you would be using your home WiFi. And your organisation’s IT team has no control over it whatsoever. Changing passwords to something far more complex than just names or birthdays of family members is the most basic step in securing the home network.
Use a VPN connection while working from home
Use a virtual private network (VPN) on your work device before connecting it to your home network is another security practice that should be followed. However, make sure to avoid free VPNs as they are not safe and usually compromise security, killing the purpose of using it in the first place.
Turn on encryption
Most routers now come with the ability to encrypt their traffic. Unfortunately, this option is usually turned off by default. You should ensure that you enable encryption, you can enable encryption via your router’s settings.
Ensure all software are regularly updated
Activate automatic updates on all devices. Encourage team members to upgrade the software to the latest version supported under the company’s security policy.
Turn off network name broadcasting
Hide your WiFi network from malicious actors by turning off network name broadcasting. This will stop your network from automatically showing up on every device that has its WiFi turned on and prevent others from surreptitiously connecting to your WiFi. You can turn off network name broadcasting (or SSID broadcasting) in your router’s setting.
Many companies have worked diligently to ensure the physical safety and well-being of their employees as they continue to WFH. However, it’s also important to take all the precautions possible to maintain secure cyberspace.
Educate employees with best cybersecurity practices, encourage multi-factor identification and have them set their computers to automatically update. Taking simple preventative measures like these will save your company money and prevent unnecessary headaches in the long run.
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