As this September is around the corner, the flurry of activity of getting back online to do those school assignments is crossing into the workplace.
With so many people working from home, and many sharing PC’s at times, security awareness is a key component of a successful and safe remote accessibility. Microsoft recommends a number of tips tips to keep your computer safe at home. Here are some key ones:
- firewalls – don’t skimp here and follow your IT team’s recommended policies; often the firewall is that silent guard in from of your remote network. It’s also a critical component as VPNs provide remote access to resources at work – if the home network is compromised, it’s a location that can bypass office security as it’s perceived centrally as an authenticated user.
- anti-virus and updates – stay patched – all software and make sure your operating system is updated before plugging them into the network/going online. The fastest time a computer was hacked that we recorded was 12 seconds, the time it took to plug it in, and then log into it only to realize the firewall wasn’t on
- train yourself about security – security awareness training is a key threat mitigation strategy. Don’t open emails from suspicious sources, don’t click on links in emails unless your are 100% certain it’s from a safe source as as intended, stay away from pirated material and make sure to browse the web safely
- keep your data secure – don’t share passwords, use MFA (Multi-Factor Authentiation) also called 2FA, use a modern browser
- update your co-workers – it’s really important to keep your co-workers updated as to your work from home status and if you are sharing PC resources with other family members. Review this especially with your IT team. It’s a favorite trick of hackers to pretend they are your IT team and even call you. Always call numbers that are known, and published on the Company Intranet.
Remember that all it takes is seconds and one click to get compromised, and anyone on your computer can expose Company resources accidentally and cause serious and sometimes irrecoverable damage.
With good practices and awareness, remote work risks can be reduced significantly.