Cybersecurity for Remote Employees
As organizations across the country make the switch to remote working in response to the rapidly spreading Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), it is unfortunately inevitable that cybercriminals will be on the lookout for new opportunities to exploit employees working over unsecured networks. As you prioritize the health of your employees, don’t neglect the security of your systems. To protect your organization’s confidential information, consider the following tips for cybersecurity while working remotely:
- Use a VPN: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) work by rerouting your internet traffic through its own servers to encrypt all internet traffic and make it unreadable to interceptors. If your organization has a VPN in place, ensure that employees use it when working from home to protect any confidential data from preying hackers. If you do not have a company-wide VPN solution, urge employees to refrain from using public WiFi when using company devices or accessing company systems.
- Be cautious of phishing emails: As nationwide worry around the Coronavirus increases, cybercriminals have already begun to take advantage of public health concerns by sending phishing emails related to the virus. Some tips to spot a phishing email: verify the sender–does the displayed email address match the actual “mailto:” address? Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Additionally, refrain from clicking on links from unknown senders and never send any personal information over email. When in doubt, navigate to the website in question outside of the email or contact the sender through a more secure channel.
- Install updates regularly: One of the simplest tactics to stay safer while working remote is to regularly install updates to your devices. To secure your network as much as possible, update your VPNs, network infrastructure devices, and any other devices being used for remote work with the latest software patches and security configurations.
- Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all VPN connections: Multi-factor authentication is the process of using more than one method of authentication to confirm a person’s identity before granting access to a system or account, such as a biometric factor or text message. While not hack proof, MFA provides an extra layer of security.
- Use strong passwords: As cybercriminals prey on unsuspecting victims who are just getting accustomed to working remote, it is more important than ever to use strong passwords that are difficult for cybercriminals to guess and for malware to crack. Passwords should be unique for every account and can be stored in a password manager for easy access. Consider using passphrases, a sequence of words that holds meaning for the user but seem random to anyone else, for an extra layer of security.
For more information about cybersecurity while working remote, visit https://www.natlawreview.com/article/coronavirus-covid-19-managing-cyber-security-risks-remote-work and https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/aa20-073