The sudden uprise of COVID-19 has left companies with no other option except remote working. Even the largest and most influential brands are evolving their setup as people are becoming more contingent on remote working. Along with this ease in responding to employment, there is an ever-increasing threat to confidential and sensitive information. This extreme dependency over the internet works as a host for the hacker community and provides them with limitless opportunities. Employees, students, and even a layman are at the risk of losing their sensitive information under current circumstances. Here are a few cybersecurity tips for working remotely that would not only guard and protect confidential information but would also help you stay aloof from all types of data theft and hacking.
1. Avoid Unauthorized Access
The basic understanding of a safe and secure remote working is the allowance for authorized access only. It is one of the crucial most steps to make sure that no unauthorized user has access to your data. Under the need for current circumstances, the administration is forced to share such a database with employees that were not as easily accessible and open to everybody as it is now. Hence, in such a position:
● Authorized Access
The organizations must have an in-depth verification of every request, and only authorized users should be granted permission for further accessibility. There is a complete network of fake users continuously trying to get hands over sensitive information. Hence, a thorough and comprehensive verification process is a must before granting access to anybody.
● Strong Password
Under the need to present remote conditions, every person must have a unique and strong password for their account. A strong password involves a mix of letters and numbers. Still, the one with both lower and upper cases, along with numerical digits and a symbol, is sufficiently reliable and results in a strong password. The outcome would work as a barrier for hackers since such passwords are hard to decode.
● Two-step Verification
For further reduction of risks lying around, the organization must work with two-factor verification. This type of guarantee involves two steps. Once you enter a password, the proof is required for further access. It requires recognition and assurance in terms of fingerprint or an additional code for safe and authorized access to data.
2. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPN, also known as a virtual private network, works as a mask to protect the safe transfer of data. It is additional security that further enhances the safe travel of data from your source to an externally located source. VPN serves as a powerful tool that makes sure to conceal the IP address and your remote location so that no one can spot and hack the information. The roller coaster ride of COVID-19 not only increased the rate for remote employment, but the quality of cybercrime has also substantially reached a greater extent. With a virtual private network:
● Ip Address And Location
When you send a confidential data file from your source to another while the VPN software is functional, it is capable of altering your exact IP address as well as location. Hence your identity remains secure, and data stays protected throughout the transfer.
If you are at risk of losing your data or essential database to a hacker, VPN works as a lifesaver. When you transfer a file to the concerned source, it encrypts the information while in transit. By doing so, even the recipient would not spot the exact IP address or location. Hence the data remain free from theft, exploitation while and stay protected.
3. Avoid Phishing Attacks
As per the ongoing standard operating procedures, employees and students are unable to maintain a face to face communication. Text messages, emails, and other software are working as an aid to assist them. However, the increase in technological dependency comes with its risks. Hackers have found the best way to utilize the opportunity and make the best use of human errors. Phishing attacks are mostly aimed to get hands and access to the data that you would not share otherwise. These attacks come with hackers posing to represent an organization they don’t belong to. For example, they may send an email presenting it to be from Google and get access to your data when you open it up. One must recognize the difference between authentic and poisoned mails to protect mobile phones and servers from ransomware.
● Email Address
Before you open any email, look for the address where it came from. Phishing emails mostly have a fake email address through which they pose to represent common social sites. They have email addresses that try to describe the authentic organization to make fools out of us. For example, A fake mail from google would have an email that isn’t verified.
● Letter Substitution
The most common phishing attacks come with letter substitution in the email address. If the authentic email represents “google,” a fake email address constitutes letter substitution such as Google.
● Infected Links
The most popular way of hacking comes in the form of phishing emails with infected links. The email includes a link, and the recipient is asked to “click the link.” Such emails should be avoided for safe and protected data.
4. Secure Devices
The most sensitive concern of working from home is to broaden the security of all devices that are involved. Most people are only concerned with their laptops while ignoring all the other tools they are connected to. Hackers are in the continuous search of scanning sources to get access to your database. If a company has employees remotely working, they should be advised to guard all the concerned devices for their job. This task can be done by:
● Router settings
In this age of digital advancement where no work is complete without the internet, most routers come with a default set of settings and passwords. Employees must be asked to switch or change the password within every two weeks to avoid suspicious attempts by hackers. This conscious attitude helps in restricting the hacker’s attempt for malicious activities.
● Install Anti-virus
Even if you stop hackers from accessing the central server of the organization, most companies fail to develop a secure internal sharing network. Meanwhile, where COVID-19 has restricted everybody to their home, and employees are using their devices, security and protection of data have become a significant concern. A good and updated version of antivirus, firewall, and other protective software can help reduce the risk of cyber-attacks for secure and productive working from home.
● Other Devices
In a world where cyber-crime is common, and people are at risk of losing their private information, organizations are spending vast amounts over software agencies to secure and safe setup for their companies. Employees can be given protected devices by the company that is guarded by protective software such as anti-virus and codes to reduce the chances of any malicious attacks on your database.
5. Team Education
The most common reason for data breaching comes in the form of human error. Hackers are best known for making the maximum use out of this concern. Human errors are not limited to a single state; a man falls victim to data leakage due to an accidental click of malicious links, mishandling of software, and inadequate knowledge regarding this domain. A team education should be carried out to make trained and mastered employees for fast growth of the company:
● File Sharing
A proper file sharing setup should be devised. All team members must be trained to have a firm grip over all the procedures involved. A conscious and vigilant effort on the part of every member can ensure safety and protection while the file is in transit. An additional shield should be added along with the file to ensure its safe travel. Protective software such as VPN must be among the top priority to add an extra layer of strongly build security.
● Password Policy
Set up a complete set of protocols before sharing of each file. Each team member should be trained enough to handle them. Additional security of passwords should be added before a file is allowed to share. This method is useful; if any anonymous person may get access to the device, he might not be able to transfer the files that hold vital information that you would not release otherwise.
● Public Wi-Fi
In this current age, where life ceases to exist without the internet, employees must be asked to avoid public Wi-Fi setup at any cost. Under the current situation of COVID-19, where working remotely is the only suitable way to earn a livelihood, safety and security concerns have not ceased to exist. Connecting office devices to public networks or even personal devices holding office databases to such structures can pose a severe threat to the data, leading to data theft.