Working from Home: Navigating Cybersecurity

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Author Bio

Home security best practices

The rise of Covid-19 and the necessity for social distancing has left many of us in a situation where we need to navigate uncharted territory – business security in our home offices.

Confirmit is a very security-conscious company. Our team lives and breathes security because we are responsible for a great deal of data. Think I’m, exaggerating? Check out our security measures here. Seriously, that’s just the tip of the security iceberg! But the question remains, what can we worker bees do to ensure we are living up to our company’s security standards whilst stuck working from home?

Never fear! We have some great tips to help you remain as secure as possible when you aren’t in the office.

European cybersecurity agency ENISA has reported an increase in Covid -19 related attacks including fraudulent calls, malicious Covid-19 “information sites”, and phishing emails. From my perspective, attacking people in times of crisis is just plain low! But, there are things we can do to protect ourselves. Many of these things are common sense and always best practice but now, they are more important than ever!

  1. Don’t use your work devices for personal activities. Yes some company policies allow for limited and reasonable use for personal reasons and I know it’s tempting, but keep it to a minimum as it increases your risk exponentially.
  2. Do not install any unauthorized software. Software on your work PCs should always be approved by IT first. 
  3. Be cautious when considering opening emails from outside our organization, whether they are from people you know or people you don’t know.  And always stay alert for weird subject lines, or when something is just…not… right in some way. And remember, clicking on links or attachments in suspicious emails is a bad practice anytime, but now more than ever.
  4. Be careful of links and attachments generally, even if you think you know the sender. Did you know bad people can mask their identity in emails? Always double check that the sender is who they say they are. If the email is “urgent” or seems to imply urgency – be careful! Cyber criminals will try to get you to act without thinking using urgency as their weapon.
  5. Make sure your home Wi-Fi equipment software is up-to-date and secure. There are lots of resources online to help (here is some general guidance). And please remember, public Wi-Fi is not secure, so limit your use to only essential times.
  6. Make sure your security software and all programs are up-to-date at all times.
  7. Lock your computer when you are away from it, even at home, and make sure you keep devices and documents away from snooping eyes. With other family members stuck at home as well, we need to be sure we’re not letting them get into secure environments. And remember children may not be cybercriminals, but as any parent will attest, children sure can wreak havoc on work devices and documents!  
  8. Read and follow tips and recommendations from your company’s security and IT teams. They are the experts after all!

Overall, the key to at home security is to use common sense in all things. The craziness of Covid-19 has despicable people working overtime to get our private information. With a little effort and common sense measures, those of us working from home can stay healthy AND secure.