The Do's and Don'ts of Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

Due to the worldwide health crisis in 2020, there was a significant move to remote working, and despite some cyber security worries, this may be a trend that will endure long after the epidemic has passed. Seventy-four percent of businesses worldwide intend to encourage workers to work from home.

While this more flexible working arrangement is unquestionably more comfortable, it comes with its own set of hazards, particularly cybersecurity. If you have a lot of remote employees, here are some basic do's and don'ts to remember.

The Do's of Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

Here are some cybersecurity measures that every remote worker must adhere to −

Your Home Office Should Be Safe

When you work from home, physical security should not be compromised. When you leave the office for the day, lock the door. Do the same when working from home.

Laptops can easily be stolen from the patio, living room, or home office. When you walk inside to make lunch, bring your laptop with you and lock the door to your home office. Maintain the same level of security in your home office as you do in your regular office.

Keeping Your Home Router Safe

Because few people care to change their router passwords, cybercriminals target default passwords, leaving their home network vulnerable. A simple action you can take to secure your home network from bad actors who want access to your devices is to change your router's password from the default to something unique.

This is a solid start, but you can do a few more things. For example, you should apply firmware upgrades as quickly as possible to prevent known vulnerabilities from being exploited.

Use Separate Devices for Official and Personal Work

It may be easier said than done, but it's critical to draw a line between your job and personal lives, primarily if you work from home.

While it may seem cumbersome to jump between devices to pay a payment or buy online, do your best to keep your work and personal computers separate. You never know if you've been hacked. Even better, if you can do the same for your mobile devices.

If your personal or work device has been compromised, this can decrease the quantity of sensitive data revealed.

Encrypt All Your Electronics

Suppose your company hasn't already enabled encryption for you. In that scenario, you should do so because it reduces the danger of others accessing your device's data without knowing your password, PIN, or biometrics.

Encryption, for example, is the process of encoding data so that only authorized parties can access it. While it does not prevent interference or man-in-the-middle attacks, it does contain the interceptor from receiving understandable content.

Ensure that Your Software is Updated

Operating systems aren't the primary target for hackers. Any software can be hacked, and web browsers are a popular target. It's critical to maintain any installed applications up to date for the same reasons described above.

The most current software will automatically scan for and apply security fixes. Check for new versions of everything else regularly. However, consider using a secure SaaS service rather than installable software wherever possible. It will not go out of the current, and the supplier will manage security rather than you.

Use Antivirus Software

Viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, trojans, and other malware can be protected using antivirus software. As its name implies, Antivirus software is a program that fights viruses. After discovering its presence, it identifies or recognizes the virus and then removes it from the computer system.

Antivirus software is a preventative measure, which means it not only eliminates a virus but also prevents other viruses from infecting your computer in the future.

The Don'ts of Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

Following are some of the activities that you should not be doing while working remotely −

Do Not Use Public WiFi

Although some public Wi-Fi networks require a password to use, this does not necessarily mean that they are secure. Public networks are insecure, which means that anyone can quickly gain access to them and that there is no firewall to protect you from harmful actors.

You could connect to a rogue network, which is a risk. This is when a cybercriminal's rogue hotspot acts as a "middleman" between you and the genuine network. This allows them access to anything you do on the internet, including your passwords.

Do Not Rely Solely on the Firewall of Your Home Office Router.

Intruders and third parties are prevented from penetrating your devices by default firewalls on home office routers. On the other hand, attackers have worked out how to hack them. Consider adding a hardware firewall to your home router's firewall. It employs printed circuit boards (PCBs) developed and made utilizing solder masks, silkscreen, and copper on a single board. Extensive security features may be accommodated on the little board, ensuring that your network is protected from external attacks.

Don't Use Personal Devices for Work

The majority of remote workers admit to copying files between their work and personal computers, with 40% admitting to doing so. It's tempting, and even costeffective, to use your personal computer for business, but it's one of the most dangerous blunders you can make, putting you and your organization at risk!

Personal devices frequently lack the capabilities already installed in business networks, such as powerful antivirus software, tailored firewalls, and automatic online backup solutions. Without these, the chances of malware infecting your computer and disclosing work and personal information are extremely high.

Do Not Assume That Your Company is Secure

This is the most important item to stay away from. Cybercriminals, as previously said, are constantly looking for new ways to target organizations and individuals. According to forecasts for cybercrime in 2021, a cyberattack will occur every 11 seconds, costing the world economy at least £4.2 billion per year. There isn't such a thing as the perfect security strategy.

Having appropriate safeguards in place, on the other hand, can significantly reduce your chances of being targeted. Employees and employers should receive some basic cyber security training to be aware of the potential consequences of their conduct.

Updated on: 20-Jul-2022


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