What everyone should know about online safety and remote work

 In Security

For businesses currently preparing for a COVID-19 lockdown who are redeploying their teams to work from home, I can’t overemphasise the importance of cyber security in preparing that deployment.

I and the Proactive IT Solutions team will do everything in our power to get your people up and running to support your ongoing business; but there are some things we can’t protect you against. Things like phishing, malware, ransomware, brute-force attacks, compromised or stolen credentials, and hacking.

COVID-19 lockdowns are shaking up the way we all work – and you’d better believe the hackers and scammers are working on new ways to exploit the changes.

Take the time now to think about online safety, and about maintaining the security of your business network and data. Make time to speak to your team members now about ways of working online more safely.

Provide employees with basic security knowledge

People working from home must be provided with basic security advice:

It is likely that attempts to subvert security using phishing attacks will increase at this time. As well as targeted phishing attacks, we’re likely to see an increase in work-from-home scams and other schemes that typically target gig economy workers. Many of these request personal information or upfront payments before you can begin work. By the time you realise it’s a scam, the fraudster has ceased contact and stolen your money or taken over accounts.

People should be particularly reminded to avoid clicking links in emails from senders they do not know, and not to install any third-party apps – even on personal devices. The security of their home network – and by extension your business network – relies not only on your employee’s behaviour but on that of every other member of the household who connects to their network.

Your people also need to know who to contact in the event they detect a security issue.

Develop contingency plans now

You need contingency plans in place now in case key personnel get sick. Ensure that essential roles and responsibilities are shared. Tech support, password and security management, essential codes and failsafe roles should all be assigned and duplicated.

Look after each other

The reason many people are working from home is because there is a health pandemic. The grim truth is that your employees may get sick, or worse, during this crisis. Everyone is feeling stressed right now, so it makes sense to raise each other up through this journey.

With this in mind, community chat, including group video chat using tools such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, will become increasingly important to preserving relationships and contact.

Photo by Djurdjica Boskovic on Unsplash

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