Working remotely provides an abundance of new options for teams, but be careful of the new hazards it presents. While businesses are transferring to their remote environment, opportunists are attempting to attack businesses before they can cement their structures.
Thankfully, these scammers can be avoided by simply taking a few extra steps and remaining watchful of your network. These are the most common steps that will boost your remote cybersecurity.
Step 1: Keep up to date.
Many devices will offer automatic updating capabilities, and if not, there are several excellent options that will offer the same thing. This allows your tech to advance it's security regularly to combat evolving hacking strategies. Ultimately, keeping all your apps updated is vital as the security patches are what keep hackers on their toes.
Step 2: Keep regular backups
Stick to a daily schedule for backups that go straight to a password-protected external hard drive or a secure cloud-based server. This is a must for any business that relies on tech to keep and secure their data. Hardware failure is a surprisingly common problem, so make sure to keep redundant drives to save you from this.
Step 3: Make (and remake) good passwords
The top security analysts advise that all of your passwords be over 12 characters long including a combination of lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Two great habits to learn is always creating unique passwords and occasionally changing all your passwords. The former can be done with one of the numerous credible password managers on the web.
Step 4: Add Layers to Your Remote Cybersecurity
IT is highly recommended to use Two-Factor Identification (2FA). Also setting up your computer to automatically lock whenever you close it/turn off the monitor can be solid security. Most importantly, never leave your laptop anywhere in public, whether it's left open or closed. Add an extra layer of security for your most important files by password locking the folder they are in. Some of these might seem obvious but without the proper precautions, all it takes is 1 mistake to expose your network.
Step 5: Only use encrypted Wifi connections
Always be certain that your wifi is password-protected and private, either WPA2 or WPA. This way, hackers won't be able to access other insecure devices on your network to observe your online activity. In the event you are needing to use a shared network or a public connection, we recommend using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to hide your IP and provide an excellent layer of protection while out of your home/office. Several Browsers provide their own secure VPNs like Brave or Firefox.
Step 6: Don’t forget about physical theft
It's easy to focus on remote cybersecurity, but remember burglary is a definite threat to consider. Always shred any physical documents that would contain sensitive information before you dispose of them. Also, though it may seem odd, keep your backup hard-drive in a different spot as your computer. Losing your backups would easily turn a bad situation much worse.
Step 7: Separate work from personal whenever possible
Try to separate personal data from your work data as it increases the odds of a hacker using a backdoor from an unsecured app to break into your work network. Beyond the obvious reasons for separating your work life from your personal one, protecting your privacy can be an important step for collective security.
Always use the services provided by your company for messaging, email, and file storage or ask to see if your alternative will fit their system. If you're looking for flexibility, check out our Cloud Services for more secure options.
And most importantly: Careful where you click
Ultimately, scammers and hackers will inevitably be able to guess or find email addresses, no matter how hard they're hidden. Always watch for email addresses that you don't recognize, and definitely don't open any attachments from them. Don't be afraid to verify with your IT Department or other coworkers about the validity of an email, as it could expose your entire network to hackers.
There are so many types of threats to consider and many different options for addressing each, that it may become difficult to build, maintain, and update your remote cybersecurity system.
We'd like to emphasize that your IT provider should be helping with and providing guidance in all of the above areas even when working from home.
If you have any questions about how a managed service provider can help you, contact us here and we'll get back to you.