YBC Academy : IT Security

The coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown in many parts of the world have forced a large number of employees into working from home.

Switching to remote working can create cybersecurity problems for employers and employees. Here are some things to watch.

1 – PHYSICAL SECURITY
a. If you need to leave your home for supplies or other reasons, make sure your work devices are either shut down or locked—including any mobile phones.
b. If you live with a roommate or young children, be sure to lock your computer even when you step away for just a bit.

2 – SYSTEM ACCESS
a. Access to your computer’s desktop should at least be password protected, and the password should be a strong one.
b. Use password managers to help you generate complex passwords that will make it very hard for hackers to crack and therefore keeping your accounts safer.
Make sure you lock down the password manager with two-factor authentication.
c. Use Two Factor Authentication wherever possible on every account you access using the Microsoft Authenticator App or similar.
d. Check whether data encryption is active on your work machine.
e. If you’re connecting your work computer to your home network, make sure you don’t make it visible to other computers in the network.
f. If you have to add your work computer to your home network, then make sure the option to share files is off.
g. Ensure anti-virus is in place and fully updated. Get Security Everywhere for advanced Cyber Protection if you want you want computers to be protected against UN-KNOWN threats. Four new versions of UN-KNOWN threats (malware) are released on the planet every one second!
h. Check all security software is up to date: Privacy tools, add-ons for browsers and other patches need to be checked regularly.
i. Have a back-up strategy and remember to do it: All important files should be backed up regularly.
j. Never use your computer to charge mobile devices as they can easily infect your Windows or MAC computer. Use a wall charger every time instead.
Make sure your work devices are physically safe, and that you avoid offering unauthorized views of confidential information.

3 – SEPARATE WORK AND PERSONAL DEVICES
a. Keep your main work computer and your main home computer separate (if you have more than one such device).
b. If you can do the same for your mobile devices—even better.
c. Don’t send work-related emails from your private email address and vice versa.
d. Keep your child’s digital curriculum separate from your work device.

4 – SECURE CONNECTIONS
a. Make sure you have access to your organization’s cloud infrastructure through a VPN with encryption.
b. Secure your home Wi-Fi with a strong password, in case VPN isn’t an option or if it fails for some reason.
c. Access to the settings on your home router should be password protected as well. Be sure to change the default password it came with—not 12345, please!
d. Most importantly of all, “self-isolate” all your work computers and devices from the rest of the family, by setting up a Home Guest Wi-Fi and then connect your work devices to the Guest Wi-Fi. Ask your Internet provider to help you with this if you are unsure.

5 – WATCH FOR PHISHING
a. Be wary of phishing emails trying to capitalize on fear related to the coronavirus, questions about isolation and its psychological impacts, or even pretending to offer advice or health information. Scan those emails with a sharp eye and do not open attachments unless they’re from a known, trusted source.
b. Your organization may be sending you many emails and missives about new workflows, processes, or reassurances to employees. Watch out for those disguising themselves as high-ranking employees and pay close attention to the actual email address of senders.

This is a big adjustment for many people.
When working from home, find a comfortable working area where you can assume a healthy posture, minimize the distraction from others, and where your presence has the least impact on how others have to behave.

Take breaks to stretch your legs, and give your eyes a rest.

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