COVID-19 is disrupting cybersecurity as well as the supply chain, but following the tips below will help you protect your network against the many cyber attacks happening as you read this. Hackers have been ramping up their efforts to breach all the unsuspecting, newly working from home potential victims, unaware they are at increased risk. Users inexperienced with telecommuting can be extra susceptible to crafty cyber scams, but taking the right steps to harden your endpoints will decrease your attack surface and make you much less vulnerable.
Here are the top five COVID-19 cybersecurity tips to follow when working from home:
Accept that Telecommuting Brings New Cyber Risk
Having to work remotely can seem like just another overwhelming aspect of the already overwhelming situation caused by coronavirus, but before you do anything else, you must acknowledge the cyber risk of telecommuting. You, your coworkers or your employees are all going to be logging into network separately from a bunch of relatively unmonitored machines, with only individual discretion being the first line of defense. What everyone in your business does or does not do will have an impact on the size of your attack surface.
This is another factor in the new normal, yet not addressing it first only heightens your risk. It is not always extra work to secure your remote workspace, but it does require a different way of thinking than you may be used to. Start by acclimating yourself with the basic best practices and building upon that foundation.
Beware the Phishing Domains, Spoofed Emails, and Ransomware
Phishing has been a part of life for a long time, but many hackers cannot miss an opportunity for what seems like an easier conquest. Despite any proclamations of sympathy, cybercriminal gangs are deploying tools from malicious domains to spoofed emails en masse, laden with ransomware and other types of malware to infect unsuspecting victims. Familiarizing yourself with the signs of a cyber scam are more important than ever, and you should be extra careful with every electronic communication you send and website URL you visit.
Segment Personal Devices When Working from Home
Are you using your personal laptop to read this through this right now, with your email and video apps still running alongside YouTube in the background? Every time someone uses their own devices to access a company network, they run the risk of connecting business applications to third party software that could be malicious. With how poorly even popular verified vendors handle user cybersecurity, the risk that you could accidentally leak sensitive data like payroll information is too great to ignore – monitor how you use everything and keep your work login credentials as segmented as possible.
Secure Cloud Connections and Remote Desktop Protocols
There are different security concerns inherent to using either cloud-hosted software or Remote Desktop Protocols (EDP) with a traditional on-premise system, but both still require vigilance to use safely. Someone needs to keep an eye on those connections as much as possible, as unpatched vulnerabilities transform user access into exploitable backdoor gateways. Either yourself or your IT support needs to carefully monitor your login activities, and as always keep your credentials secure.
If You Need Help, Consider Outsourcing IT and Cybersecurity
The reality is that cybersecurity can be incredibly stressful for the average employee, who has to take so many steps to protect themselves, and that’s when there actually is a company best practice. Many businesses are unsure of what to do, adding further uncertainty for those forced to work from home during COVID-19. In either case, people are the first and last line of for any network, and your data will always be at risk if you don’t keep a clear mind on your cyber defense.
If you’re not already engaging SWK or another managed service provider, then review some of our guidance on outsourcing your IT to better determine the cost-benefit ratio for your business. Contracting an outside network resource is an investment, but one that can help you secure all the gaps your business has grown too big to ignore. If SWK is your MSP, then look into some of our training services, new standalone cybersecurity solutions or consider our cybersecure cloud hosting service with around the clock network security monitoring.
Talk to SWK About More Cybersecurity Tips for COVID-19
Having an extra helping hand can be critical in these uncertain times, which is why SWK is here to support your IT needs. We can provide guidance and network assurance to help shore up your vulnerabilities, and steer your employees to best practices for working remotely.
Contact SWK to learn more cybersecurity tips and other solutions for protecting your network.