How to Stay Cyber Secure While in Lockdown
With most of the country in lockdown at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, criminals have turned their eyes to attacking home networks and taking advantage of the crisis in any way that they can.
Cybercrime has skyrocketed during this time as hackers and scammers take advantage of the uncertainty and fear of the moment. Some frightening statistics include:
- Global phishing attacks increased by 667% in March
- Daily cybersecurity complaints to the FBI have jumped from 1,000 to between 3,000-4,000
- UK citizens have lost ₤970,000 due to coronavirus-related fraud since February
Employees that are working remotely from home are at much higher risk of a data breach than when at their place of business. Not only are they using home Wi-Fi routers (which are less secure than business-grade routers), they are also often cut off from the standard IT support and security that may be in place at their office.
Hackers know all this, which is why they’ve increased their attacks in a dual approach that takes advantage of coronavirus fears and concerns as well as the fact that business data is now less protected in many cases.
If you’re working from home while on lockdown, there are precautions you can take to both protect your company’s data as well as your own personal financial details. We’ll go through several steps you can take to stay cyber secure.
Tips for Improving Your Security Posture at Home
You can fight back when it comes to the increase in cybercrime during the COVID-19 lockdown. It just takes vigilance and knowing how to properly protect your device, business data, and network.
Here are several ways you can improve your security posture while working from home to prevent data compromise.
Be Vigilant About Phishing
There is a whole new slew of coronavirus-related phishing campaigns out there designed to steal data, login credentials, or plant a dangerous malware. These scams often take advantage of the need for information about the virus and the fact that people are separated from their normal environment at work.
Some of the well-known scams going around are:
- Fake email from the “World Health Organization” with COVID-19 safety guidelines
- Links to a false map that shows “outbreaks in your area”
- Emails from the “HR” department asking the recipient to read a new company infectious disease policy
- Threats of having your email account shut off by the new “IT firm” handling corporate remote security
Phishing of all types has increased, not just those related to the pandemic. So, it’s important to be suspicious of any unexpected emails or messages, even if it purports to be from a known organisation. Here are tips to defend against phishing.
Watch Out for Fake Support Calls
Phishing doesn’t only come by email or text/social media message, it can also come via scam phone calls.
Be wary of any unexpected call you receive from someone that says they’re from your company’s tech support provider asking you to give them access to your computer. This is a common ploy to get into your device and its data.
If you receive such a call, do not take action. Instead, contact your employer to see if the call was legitimate.
Keep Business & Personal Data Separate
It’s easy for business and personal data to become co-mingled on a device when you’re working from home. But this puts that data more at risk of being compromised, either accidentally or through a hack into your system.
Employers can better protect business data when you keep it separated either on an entirely different device (if possible) or at least in a different folder structure. This allows password protections to be applied and company backup systems to be used without interfering with your personal data.
Put Work Devices on a “Guest” Network
Home networks often have less protected devices connected to them than business netoworks, such as doorbell cameras, family electronics, and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices. If a hacker gets into one of them, they can easily discover your work PC on the same network and hack in.
More than 50% of IoT devices are susceptible to severe attacks.
Separate your work devices from less secure home devices by putting them on their own Wi-Fi network. This is done by setting up a guest network on your home router and then using that only for devices used for business.
Keep Your PC Protected (Updates, Antivirus, etc.)
Whether you’re using your home or work PC while working remotely, it’s important that you keep it properly protected and apply best practices for device security.
Device safety protections include:
- Applying all operating system, software, and firmware updates/patches as they’re released.
- Ensuring you have a good antivirus/anti-malware program running
- Using a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt data being transmitted when you’re online.
- Using a web protection tool (aka DNS filtering) to block malicious websites
- Physical screen lock and device password to prevent data compromise
Use Multi-Factor Authentication for Cloud Security
Credential theft is big in the cybercrime community. If someone can get into a company’s Microsoft 365 or G Suite account, they can steal data, use the email features to send phishing, and steal user login credentials.
Keep all cloud accounts and website logins secure by using multi-factor authentication. According to Microsoft, it’s 99.9% effective at blocking account attacks.
Do You Have the Remote Support & Security You Need?
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you have to handle technology issues all on your own. Enable Technology’s remote support can be there to help in minutes and help keep you productive and secure.