Catapult Tech Solutions Blog
Can Employees Work from Home Safely?
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, many companies are figuring out how to ensure their employees’ safety and networks while still maintaining regular business operations. Many companies letting (or requiring) employees work from home to reduce the risk of illness. Working from the home office harbors new security risks and brings productivity challenges with it. Cybercriminals exploit the behavior of distracted employees when handling emails and browsing the web.
Even Google has instructed all North American employees to work from home, insofar as their tasks permit. To relieve the burden on companies, Microsoft, Google, Zoom, and more provide free tools that make working from home easier.
So that your employees can work securely from home, companies should take measures to protect against cyberattacks or disruptions in business operations. If you have people working remotely, you should keep in mind that security is changing. Because of this, firewalls, DNS, and IDS/IPS (intrusion detection systems/intrusion prevention systems) could be ineffective when employees are working from home.
Most IT environments with VPN support should be able to protect the remote user. This should take into account the range of users and remote desktop sessions.
Here are a few valuable tips to pass onto your employees to keep them protected as work-from-home orders continue across the US.
Use a Secure Wi-Fi Network
If possible, work on your secure, private home network rather than relying on public Wi-Fi. If you transfer your files over an insecure Wi-Fi connection, privacy can be lost, and cybercriminals can intercept your data. If you access your email account or send confidential data over a public Wi-Fi network, you may be putting personal data at risk.
Using a VPN (virtual private network) and a strong password is essential for your network’s security. When connecting to a public Wi-Fi environment, which does not require authentication via WPA (Wi-Fi protected access), network communication has many data transmission elements that travel over plain text. This increases the risk of cybercriminals using rogue APs (access points) to interfere in transactions you would normally trust, such as VPN or banking websites.
Secure Your Home Office
Make sure you have fully updated and patched anti-malware and anti-virus software. To do this, it’s essential that you follow the same best practices as you would in the office and that you report anything you suspect to internal IT or your MSP (managed service provider).
Coordinate with Your In-House IT or MSP
If you work from home, you must stick to your cybersecurity best practices and contact your in-house IT or MSP with any questions or other issues. Employees should coordinate with their internal IT department or the MSP. If your company provides you with a laptop, that’s usually not a problem. If you have to use your own computer, your IT department or your MSP will advise you on how this is possible and, if so, how you can maintain a safe working environment.
It’s vital to remain on top of security protocols as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. For help with security, call us today at 317-522-1299. Our professional crew of experts is highly skilled in internet and technology safety. We can help ease your mind today.
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