In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, opportunistic cyber attackers are on the hunt to trick individuals into infecting their computers through malicious email attachments or links that claim to contain important pandemic-related information.
With millions of employees around the world transitioning to home working arrangements, this poses a significant cyber security threat to businesses in virtually every sector.
The attackers count on distracted remote workers rushing to respond without taking time to analyze what is in front of them. It is, therefore, vital businesses make their employees aware of the heightened risk.
If adequate cyber security steps are not taken by remote employees, this could result in the loss of sensitive data and costly cyber breaches for employers.
Businesses should urge employees not to click on questionable links on social media, email, forums or any link that is not from a trusted source. Instead, they should go directly to their local government or local authorities for this information.
Employees should report any suspicious emails or online activity, so it is important businesses make it clear who their employees should contact if they think they’ve been targeted.
How can companies improve remote cyber security?
Safe and secure telecommuting relies on individuals applying protections normally provided by their employers, so it is essential businesses, brief employees, on appropriate security precautions.
For employees to defend against malware and data theft while working remotely, they need to keep software up to date, install trusted anti-virus software from well-known vendors, physically protect their computers and be on alert for anyone attempting to fool or trick them.
Below are 10 simple steps employers can share with their employees to help them telecommute more safely, reducing the risk of a cyber breach:
1. Avoid public Wi-Fi
If a remote employee doesn’t have access to home Wi-Fi, they should use a personal hotspot from their phone rather than a public network.
2. Secure home Wi-Fi
Employees should change the default administrator password and name of their wireless network (e.g., Linksys, Net gear, xfinity), commonly known as the SSID, and configure their home Wi-Fi to use the strongest encryption available (WPA2 is best). If they don’t know how to do this, they can consult their Wi-Fi providers. They should then choose a strong password for those accessing the network.
3. Install an anti-virus software
This should be done on all devices connected to home Wi-Fi, and the anti-virus tools should be configured to update automatically, at least daily.
4. Update and patch software
Again, this applies to software on all devices connected to home Wi-Fi. Users should configure their systems to update automatically and apply all updates as soon as they are available.
5. Use VPN
If the employer has a VPN network, remote employees should always use the VPN when working with sensitive or confidential information.
6. Do not share work computers with friends or family
7. Never leave a work computer in the car
Even if it is in the trunk/boot.
8. Lock the screen when leaving a computer unattended
9. Frequently save work to a network drive where it will be backed up
10. Never use personal email for company business
This includes sending company information from a work email account to a personal email account.
Remember if the worst happens, Crawford’s Global Technical Services (GTS) group specializes in responding to and mitigating the damage from cyber-related events. Our team seeks to evaluate and assess damages under intense conditions, providing our clients the support, skill, resources, technology, and experience they demand to respond quickly and appropriately. Find out more https://www.crawco.com/services/cyber-risk