Matt | 26 May 2020

Cybersecurity Tips For More Secure Home Working

As an increasing number of workers have set up office at home over the last few months, many businesses have concerns over cybersecurity. Remote working might mean more flexibility and freedom, but it isn’t without dangers. Office environments have usually been carefully created to ensure security, both online and offline. As a result, relocating to a home office at short notice because of the Coronavirus pandemic can open you up to risks.

Cybercriminals are already using the pandemic as a subject for phishing scams, and many will target insecure home networks, potentially putting your business at risk. If you are wondering how you can improve your cybersecurity during this time, follow these tips on more secure home working.

Ensure Adequate VPN Capacity

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are one of the best ways to keep your data safe. They mean that your information can’t be accessed by anyone, particularly when using unsecured WiFi networks. To ensure that your VPN has enough capacity to keep you secure, you should consider if it has enough CPU/RAM to meet your business needs, and also that you have concurrent licenses.

VPNs are in high demand at the moment, so if you haven’t got one in place already, now is the time to do so.

Use Antivirus Software

Whether you are using a dedicated company computer or your own personal devices, antivirus software is vital. A decent antivirus programme will protect you from dangerous malware that could compromise your business systems.

Viruses can result in your data and information being compromised, and also your hardware being damaged.

Introduce A Clean Desk Policy

Your home office, dining table or lounge is your new workspace, and it should be treated in the same way as a real office. Family, friends or housemates are likely to be wandering around your new office and could see whatever it is that you are working on.

While you might not be concerned about them seeing your work, it could compromise privacy laws and even result in a cybersecurity breach. Just like you would in a real office, always lock your screen when you leave your desk.

Don’t leave papers or documents lying around and keep all your work in a safe place when you are done for the day.

Protect Your WiFi

WiFi suppliers are seeing huge spikes in demand and usage at the moment, and many have warned that it could result in drops in service or slow speeds. If you have a fairly low internet speed at the moment, it is probably worth increasing it to ensure you can work properly from home.

Many home workers have also considered getting a second WiFi line as a backup, just in case the first one fails. On top of the struggles of WiFi capacity, cybercriminals will be turning their attention from office networks to home networks.

Your home networks must be as secure as possible. It is recommended to change your SSID network name from the default, and also set a unique password.

Keep Everything Up To Date

Software and operating systems have new updates available all the time. These are usually released to fix bugs and weaknesses that have been made clear in current versions. Make sure you keep all your programmes and systems up to date at all times. This will prevent cybercriminals from exploiting these known weaknesses and compromising your data and systems.

Enable automatic updates where possible, so that all devices are always running the latest versions.

Be Careful With Screensharing

Businesses are now running most meetings, training and updates through video conferencing software. Sometimes you might be required to share your screen with others, particularly if you are running the meeting or presenting.

Be cautious that when you share your screen, you don’t leave any windows or things open that you wouldn’t want others to see. Not only can this be embarrassing, but it is also a privacy issue. If you work with sensitive information, it is likely there will be people on the call who shouldn’t be seeing your work.

Don’t Share On Messages Or Social Media

A large number of phishing scams come in the form of messages and emails pretending to be from someone you know. If someone requests some critical or personal data over a message or email, be careful that it is legitimate. If it seems unusual, give them a call and find out if it is genuine or a scam.

Another common risk of sharing personal information is posting on social media. It might be tempting to upload a snap of your workstation onto your social media. However, you could accidentally share private data on your screen if you aren’t too careful.

Encrypt Data At Rest

Any data that is at rest and not currently being used should be encrypted. Proper encryption will protect your data from loss or theft should someone gain access to the device. This goes for all devices, including laptops, tablets and USB sticks. Criminals may target these devices in order to gain access to information and data, rather than for the devices themselves.

Be Aware Of Cyber Breaches

If your computer and systems have experienced a cyber breach, it isn’t always immediately apparent. Cybercriminals can sit on your computer for long periods of time, accessing your data without you even realising. Some signs that your computer might have been compromised include;

· New programmes that you have never installed have appeared on your device.

· Your computer runs very slowly.

· You lose control of your keyboard or mouse.

· Pop up ads appear on the screen.

If you experience any of these things, then you might have had a cybersecurity breach. You should get in touch with your IT specialists as soon as possible so that they can mitigate the risks.

Have The Right People In Place

One of the best ways to improve cybersecurity in any business is it to have people with the right knowledge and skills on board. At TSG Training, we offer a range of security-based courses, including ISTQB Advanced Security Tester E-Learning, which covers everything from hacking to defective software. Our free ISTQB Advanced Security Testing Webinar is also a great option if you want to learn more about testing your security and to make sure the e-learning course would be right for you. For more information about why security testing is vital for big brands, check out this blog post.