Remote work, WFH, virtual workspaces, cloud-hosted apps, are set norms in this post-COVID environment. The average business today has more individuals working off-premises than on it and depends even more on network-enabled operational processes, platforms, and software. This is just what makes you more vulnerable to cyber threats unless your organization has dedicated cybersecurity protocols in place provided by managed IT services in Houston or elsewhere.
Know that you may not be the first target, but you are surely the easiest one.
Here are some essential and actionable cybersecurity tips to stay safe and secured throughout your WFH schedule.
WFH Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workers
Look Before You Click
Avoiding cyberattacks starts with following the simple principle of not accessing emails, links, or files that come from unsolicited sources.
Make sure to check all emails for legitimacy before accessing attachments. This is your first line of defense against phishing and similar types of cyberattacks.
Refrain from visiting and downloading from contentious websites. Don’t hurry through webpages to better navigate through sudden pop-ups. Be proactive and know that clicking on any unwanted link can potentially put you and your organization at risk.
Use a VPN
Other than phishing and maleficent malware downloads, cyberattacks like DOS/DDOS, SQL, MitM, and the likes are mostly targeted at networks with at least a couple of users involved, i.e., organization-level virtual workspaces. Cyberattackers know where the network is hosted from and where the data is.
Use a virtual private network to reroute all your network activities via a different server. Add a VPN to your essential WFH bundle or ask your organization to deploy its cloud workspace through a dedicated VPN.
This will efficiently make it difficult for Cyberattackers to trace your server location. With IT support in Houston or elsewhere from an MSSP, you and your workplace now have sufficient time to avoid a breach and expect the threats to be neutralized as well.
Revise and Use Strong Passwords
Cyberattacks today are rarely random and often backed by months of recce, target study, research, etc. Even if you do maintain proper privacy regarding your workspace credentials, your password strength will determine your vulnerability.
Attackers now use behavioral patterns, social engineering, to second-guess passwords. The onus is on you to update your password routinely. Some credentials may be provided by your organization so urge them to follow the same trend.
Update your Anti-Malware
Your anti-virus or anti-malware software is your first line of defense against cyberattack threats.
75% of large companies still depend on pre-installed anti-virus.
You must upgrade to a paid subscription. Companies providing anti-virus require substantial resources to study new cyberattack threats and update the required security protocols for subscribed users.
Your pre-installed software may not update to these new threats and therefore will be unable to neutralize them before a security breach.
Update to paid subscriptions and make sure your anti-virus or anti-malware has the necessary capabilities to neutralize the latest threats.
Use Multi-Factor Log-ins
Basic user credentials including passwords and usernames can be breached. Make sure to upgrade to multi-factor logins that require any of the following –
- OTP Verification at the pre-determined mobile number
- Unique Code Verification via secured email address
- Custom Q&A chosen by the user as part of the login procedure
A simple additional layer of verification will take the access beyond your work network or server and outside the reach of cyberattacks attempting to breach it. A curated Q&A can also help just as effectively.
In case of a cyberattack still, you and your organization now have ample time to consolidate essential data and take it offline too.
Organizations should make it a point to establish multi-factor logins across all operational levels. Leading managed services in Houston or elsewhere should be able to provide such personalized integrations to apps, platforms, emails, etc.
Secure your Wi-Fi
WFH work schedules demand using a high bandwidth Wi-Fi connection – your home Wi-Fi. Just so, you can easily gauge that a cyberattack breach into your organization’s network, irrespective of whether you are the first node, can compromise your home network including all devices connected to it.
Get a secure Wi-Fi network to make sure one breach does not lead to another. Better still, ask your organization to outsource their network infrastructure to a managed IT services provider who can offer secured connectivity, servers, and databases.
Double-check Banking Pages
DOS/DDOS attacks have increased by 50% in Q3 2020 alone.
So have MitM cyberattacks, that target large institutions as well as SMBs with the single motive of accessing invaluable financial data or other related data.
$50,000 – Average damages caused by DOS/DDOS attacks.
WFH remotely, the best that you can do to safeguard against these attacks is to meticulously check banking pages before proceeding with transactions. Check for https:// on the URL instead of http:// where the ‘s’ does stand for security.
Keep Work to Work Devices
Arguably the most actionable WFH cybersecurity tip should be to separate work devices from all other devices at your home.
Your work device is connected to your organization and a part of the virtual workspace. Logging into the workspace with any other device than your workstation will leave digital footprints and increase entry points making both your home and office networks more vulnerable than before.
Separate Home Network for IoT devices
25% of cyberattacks will be through IoT devices as per Gartner.
IoT devices essentially create an inter-connected device network within your home network. But they generally lack fundamental security protocols available even on smartphones. This makes them the weakest link in your network; every IoT device exponentially increases the chances and severity of cyberattacks.
Keeping your workstation separate from your IoT devices reduces the risks. It is also advised to maintain more than one home network including a separate Wi-Fi corridor for your work device.
Cybersecurity is the biggest threat to organizations depending on virtual workspaces and every WFH individual using such networks is looking at an imminent security breach. Follow up on these cybersecurity tips for remote workers to reduce the risks. Spread the word and help your organization upgrade its cybersecurity framework monitored and deployed by reputable managed IT services in Houston or elsewhere.