In March 2020, many American workers made the transition to remote work, as the COVID-19 pandemic made its way around the globe. Today, six in 10 American workers remain at home, and things don’t seem like they’ll get back to normal anytime soon. Interestingly, cybersecurity threats haven’t slowed down during this time, and some common techniques, such as phishing, have actually increased during this time. How can organizations ensure that their employees are keeping their information safe when they’re not even working in your building?
Cybersecurity Tips for At-Home Workers
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) says, “Employers need to pay extra attention to securing the technology their remote workforce is using.” Remote access software and hardware tools are exposed to threats from cyberbullies who seek to take advantage of your workers and steal their sensitive data. They recommend that companies set up and communicate IT security policies to their remote workforce to regulate network access from worker personal devices. This process requires constant and vigilant IT support, including regular communications to workers to talk about the latest scams and bad actors.
Organizations that fail to have remote-security work plans will struggle in the current environment to keep their data as safe as possible. If no policies are in place, it’s important to establish and follow them as soon as possible. Setting staff expectations about what they can and can’t download on their work laptops and even which internal services they can access with their personal devices will help organizations keep their networks safer.
Talk with your employees about their current technology set up to ensure they have adequate security protocols in place. Some workers may want to use public Wi-Fi, but that is highly inadvisable at this point. Instead, they should have a strong, encrypted, password-protected home Wi-Fi network. Data should not be stored on a personal or work laptop, and instead placed on internal or cloud servers. SHRM also recommends that companies use virtual private networks (VPNs) to make sure all of the data flowing back and forth from the employee to the company is fully encrypted while in transit and at rest.
It’s also a good idea to review security access protocols and tighten down access to critical data—just in case. While many workers have no choice but to use their personal device at home, the company should make sure that they’re running the latest updates on all hardware and software to make sure security applications are current.
While all of these efforts may take time, here are 10 Things You Can Do Right Now for Better Cybersecurity:
- Add antivirus software
- Update your computer software
- Secure your Wi-Fi
- Add a VPN to encrypt data
- Avoid screen overshare
- Be alert to COVID-19 scams
- Keep personal information private
- Add two-factor authentication
- Eliminate old accounts
- Change your passwords regularly
We Can Help You Keep Your Company Safe
If your company is vulnerable to cyber breach, but lack the IT expertise to provide, consider working with ADD STAFF to bring on additional full, part, or contract help to keep your business safe.