COVID-19 has completely changed the world. Situations all over the globe are in a constant state of disruption right now. This pandemic has impacted millions of individuals as well as organizations. Due to this, more and more organizations have shifted from office work to work from home.
To successfully handle remote working amidst COVID-19, it is crucial to be aware of the rising cybersecurity threats. To keep your work completely secured and easily accessible without compromising the privacy of yourself or your organization, we are hereby sharing some cybersecurity tips for remote working during COVID-19.
1. Be Aware of Your Organization’s Remote Working Policies
By now, most enterprises have devised appropriate measures for keeping the workflow intact and secured in these unprecedented times. As an employee, you should not only be aware of these policies and measures but you should follow them explicitly. These policies have been developed to protect the privacy and safety of everyone across the organization, not to mention your most valuable data and information. Being aware of the remote working policies and abiding by them will help everyone.
2. Administrators Should Provide Cybersecurity Training
The importance of remote working policies is undeniable and formulating such policies will be an effective measure. In order to implement these practices in an appropriate manner, properly training the employees is unequivocally important.
Employees tend to believe that the IT department can fix everything. However, in this pandemic, it’s better that employees take a step forward themselves. Below are a few important tips when it comes to cybersecurity training:
- Cybersecurity training should be mandatory for everyone. No matter what their role or position in the company may be, every employee must be aware of common types of threats. Individuals using a computer should know about basic password security and safe internal browsing practices.
- A cyber attack can take place at any moment, and new employees are the most likely to fall for one of these schemes. They are usually anxious and busy performing well; hence, cybersecurity is not their main concern. That means they might be careless about things like physical security or password safety. Spreading cybersecurity awareness during onboarding makes sure there are no discernible weak links among your staff. It also helps them understand that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.
- Making cybersecurity training an ongoing procedure is highly important. Because they will eventually lower their guards and become easier targets. Training should continue throughout an employee’s tenure with required video courses and assessments.
3. Maintain Safe and Secure Virtual Meeting Practices
Successful communication is a critical part of running a smooth business operation. With the spread of COVID-19 and an increase in remote working practices, the possibility of communication issues is higher than ever.
To promote better teamwork and keep the communications flowing, even while you are apart, there are various options for conducting meetings in a virtual manner. Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Zoom, Webex, and Skype are some of the most popular options. But one important aspect which must be taken care of is up to the organization: security. Not only should you use one single meeting resource across the organization, you should make sure the platform you’ve chosen has met rigorous security standards.
For instance, many companies are using Zoom for their virtual meetings. However, people have faced some security issues during the pandemic. To keep all of your meetings and information shared safe, Zoom recently released an update that enables end-to-end encryption for paid users. Here are other tips for avoiding Zoom-bombing:
- Check and install updates on all devices where you use Zoom
- Use a unique ID and password for calls
- Create a waiting room
- Make sure that only the hosts can share their screens
- Create an invite-only meeting
- Lock a meeting once it begins
- Remove a participant (if needed) or put them on hold
- Disable a participant’s camera
- Prevent animated GIFs and other files in the chat
- Manage who can chat
4. Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be a great encryption tool for organizations to keep their security needs in check. By using a VPN, you can get a secure connection with the computer network of your organization.
In the current scenario of events, the proper VPN setup is no doubt an important prerequisite. Not only that but organizations must keep in mind the need to test the VPN beforehand, if at all possible. This will keep the most important information safe and will also reduce the amount of time spent on learning how to correctly use the VPN. While most companies are careful to share instructions on how to use their VPN, it is advised that the protocols surrounding VPN use should be reshared with employees working remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak.
5. Keeping Your Devices Safe
During the pandemic, more individuals are working from home than ever before, which magnifies the importance of keeping sensitive information safe. Therefore, to assure safety and security, employees must take precautions surrounding which devices they are using for work-related tasks. In order to keep your devices secure, you need to keep your system up to date with the latest antivirus or antimalware.
For better mobile security, it’s recommended to follow recommended security protocols for your distributive workforce, which include:
- Consider banning all “free” Wi-Fi hotspots unless they are from a corporate-subscribed, reputable business carrier with secure company logins spread about most global metropolitan locations (AT&T, Verizon, BT, and others offer this service).
- Use a VPN when connected to any public Wi-Fi
- Educate your mobile workforce on the importance of cybersecurity – in and out of the office
- Use Multi-Factor Authentication to access and use any company apps, resources, tools or data
6. Use Two- or Multi-Factor Authentication
Passwords are no longer sufficient for keeping your data safe in the current technological world we live in. Given the huge increase in cyber attacks over the past several months, an additional layer of security is necessary to keep your accounts as well as information safe from unauthorized entities. Such kind of security enhancement is provided by two-factor authentication (2FA).
The hackers are much less likely to gain access to your accounts with the use of two- or multi-factor authentication.
7. Stay Connected to Your IT Support Team
When you’re working in the office, you have direct access to the IT department which is a good thing. In case there are any issues, you can get their support almost immediately. But when you are at home, issues will still arise and your team is much further away.
It makes sense that you might try to solve any IT issues by yourself, but this is not at all advisable. Not only could you make the issue worse, you could put all of the company data on your devices at risk. Therefore, you should always make sure you know how to get connected to your organization’s IT support team in case you need any technical support.
In current times, most organizations are working from home, and applying these tips will be helpful for both the organization and employees. For more quick tips on how to stay secure while working remotely, check out and share our infographic.