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As millions of employees across the globe scramble to work from home during the coronavirus outbreak, cyber criminals are already taking advantage of this workplace disruption. Already in circulation are coronavirus phishing scams disguised as authoritative organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
If your team has been sent home to work, it is crucial that they are aware not to click on any tempting link, especially ones claiming to have urgent information regarding COVID-19 or safety updates. Most likely, it is a hacker that is preying on people’s fear and anxiety about this pandemic. Many of these scams contain links or attachments that once an employee downloads, can install malware or become a ransomware attack, putting your business in jeopardy.
Since phishing attacks are designed to play on people’s emotions and create a sense of urgency to get someone to take an action without thinking it through – the current pandemic is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of concerned individuals. Sentinel One, an endpoint security platform reported that there was an increase from an average of 37 threats per 1,000 endpoints on February 23 to 145 threats per 1,000 endpoints by March 16th.
It is important for employees to realize that computer viruses can spread as rapidly as human viruses. So, as people are taking safety precautions to protect their health by washing their hands, not touching their faces and keeping surfaces clean, the same approach needs to be taken online. This means not opening emails from unknown sources or visiting suspicious websites. Ensuring that all devices being used to work at home have anti-virus software that is up to date with the latest patches is essential.
Here are some tips to help keep your business secure while employees are working from home.
Wherever possible, enable multi factor authentication to add an additional layer of security to applications being used. Another option is using a password manager that helps reduce risky behaviour like employees sharing login credentials or their passwords.
A VPN (virtual private network) solution should also be encouraged. A VPN sits on a laptop, mobile device or computer and creates an encrypted network connection which makes it safer for employees to access organizational resources via the internet.
Ensure that your business network access is controlled. If personal devices are being used to access your work network, your business is more vulnerable to being hacked. Plus, if sensitive information is ever leaked or breached through a personal device, your business could be deemed liable.
Its important people working from home are only using their work devices. This is because these devices are equipped with company IT security software and will ensure your organization is protected should a security incident occur.
If your organization’s cyber security policy does not include remote working, it’s time to update it and quickly. Your policy needs to adequately transition people working from home, using endpoint devices and how sensitive documents and other information is allowed to be obtained and by which employees. At MBC, we can help your organization update your cyber security policy and ensure that your business is protected while employees are working from home.
To find out more about how our Managed Services can support your new work environment and keep your business safe from cyber threats, get a free assessment today.