This week large amounts of South Africans were asked to work from home. For many, this is uncharted territory and could present ad hoc issues should proper considerations be made.
We’re talking here specifically about cybercrime and securing your home office from virtual intruders.
While the efforts to flatten the curve are admirable, Kaspersky warns that companies shouldn’t put themselves at risk in cyberspace either.
“Many companies have already adopted a practice of regularly allowing their employees to work remotely or from home. The results have been quite positive and a home-based employee does not portray any risks if the approach to their cybersecurity is comprehensive,” says security researcher at Kaspersky, Maher Yamout.
That last point is incredibly important as Yamout says there are potential risks.
One of these is an employee using an unprotected or personal device to connect to a corporate network. The other risk is an employee connecting to a corporate network on an unprotected network with an unprotected personal device.
“A year ago, we have assessed the cases of cyber incidents and found that a third of them started from employees’ devices. In 34 percent of cases, it was either a download of a malicious file from an e-mail or a malicious website. So the more potentially contaminated or unprotected machines are connected to the corporate network, the larger the potential risk of infection,” says Yamout.
To mitigate this risk, Kaspersky advises providing a VPN for all staff working remotely. This allows a company’s IT team to funnel traffic through one tunnel making threat identification simpler.
While it’s common knowledge, Kaspersky advises insuring all software is up to date so as to account for the latest threats.
“A vast majority of threats we see are not targeted, but come from mass-campaigns that rely on human errors or holes in un-updated software, which means that they are not unpredictable and can surely be prevented,” explains Yamout.
Considerations should also be made regarding access to the corporate network. Firms should consider who needs to connect to the network and what is needed and grant only those permissions. This can help mitigate risk in some instances.
“It is necessary to remind coworkers about basic cybersecurity rules: do not follow links in emails from strangers or unknown sources, use strong passwords, etc. Ensure that staff are aware of the dangers of responding to unsolicited messages. Also, it is essential to agree on rules of work: whether all questions are asked in protected chats and conference calls are made via secured channels,” advises Yamout.
For our readers who are new to working at home, KnowBe4 has created a quick and simple to follow cybersecurity course for home users.
To access this course head to this link and use the password “homecourse” to access the information.
The course covers important things such as creating secure passwords, avoid malware and many more valuable titbits of information.
The KnowBe4 course is free and if you are working from home and aren’t great when it comes to cybersecurity, we highly recommend completing it.[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]