Work from home – Cyber Security Tips
A large population of staff is now forced to work from home as we control the spread of Covid-19. Clearly this an important option considering the economy will not wait to for us to contain the virus then jump back. I’ve held discussion with my friends and business partners regarding working from home where I get mixed reactions on the topic – they are all valid in their own ways.
They are greedy when everyone is fearful….
There has been an increase in cyber-attacks as the pandemic keeps on spreading. Cyber attackers are greedy to take advantage of our fears during this moment. It’s sad but that a fact of life when you are falling someone sees it as an opportunity to reap from your misfortunes. Phishing attacks will be on the increase as people scrabble for information on the latest happening and measures, they can take to stay safe.
As social distancing is being promoted it’s important to raise our guard up in regards to cyber security alertness and awareness. Our homes – majority of our homes were not well prepared to the new office environment that we have converted them to be. This poses a new challenge that must be addressed as adopt to the new lifestyle.
You are the new C.I.S.O for your home
Our organizations have well laid our structures, policies and systems to secure our data and IT environments. There are dedicated teams responsible for security lead by the CISO who work double hard to secure the organization. Now that CISO role has been transferred to every remote worker and its paramount to have some tips to avoid us being victims of cyber-crime.
Secure connection back to office
I’ve never seen such a high demand for VPN as of now! Every staff now want to have VPN client so that they can access systems/resources that they would have normally accessed while physically in office. VPN offers an encrypted tunnel via the internet ensuring communication between client and the server is secure. For SME’s, there is a tendency to opt for Remote Access Tools (RATs) due to the fact they are free and no much set up is required. The risk is that the connections grants privileges of the client where the tool is running and secondly there is the risk of session ID & credentials being stolen. From our experience, we have picked that most cyber frauds are perpetrated using RATs due to the level of access they give to the attacker.
Too much information
There is load of information from all sources on what to do to keep safe as well companies advising their staff, business partners on measures they are taking during this period. Phishing emails are on the rise with similar content but of course with intention of stealing data and spreading malware. As we work from home, we need to be extra cautious on the information we receive – links on emails should be verified. Avoid downloading attachments even though subject line is related to covid-19. Stay alert and be vigilant. The same should be applied to links we receive from Social Media – WhatsApp, Facebook etc. Information is power but take time to verify the links before you open them.
In the same spirit, avoid spreading fake news – It creates unnecessary panic. If you receive any information that you doubt check around from other reliable sources to verify its authenticity before sharing it. For example, the WHO website is up-to-date with the latest happening globally hence would be a good source to verify information shared on another platform.
Lastly, let’s be cyber security ambassadors at our home. Share the important of being alert and vigilant to the rest of our family members. Conversations of how the entire family can be secure while online can start off interesting discussions that will keep the entire family safe. If you happen to be alone contact family, friends and keep following on social platforms on latest happening.
Work from home and stay safe…..