Working from home (WFH) is a possibility for many workers these days, with more and more companies and employers giving employees the option, and sometimes even hiring for fully remote positions. The rise of the digital nomad and ease-of-access to co-working apps and video communications has many of us to work in ways that were previously impossible.
However, with the advent of the Corona virus, WFH has become more than a job benefit – For many, it’s become a necessity. Concerned about employee safety, employers have sent workers home in the masses to keep staff physically healthy and to contain the virus. Unfortunately, an overwhelming number of companies who have directed employees to work from home have not prepared staff or work devices for cybersecurity threats.
When employees are operating behind the company firewall there is an element of safety, but when employees are operating remotely it can open an entire company up to destructive attacks. At this time, when companies have scores of their workers operating from home, they are only as strong as their weakest link, and a single device breach can lead to mayhem.
Bringing your security best practices up to speed doesn’t need to be difficult – In fact, it’s pretty easy! Here are some guidelines we suggest when you or your employees are outside the office:
1 Maintaining a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPN’s are a critical aspect for employees to work remotely. A VPN is simply an encrypted tunnel between a device (Cellphone, Laptop, tablet) and the location on the internet that someone is trying to access. A VPN encrypts data in transfer, allowing personal and confidential data to tunnel from one device to the next, away from prying eyes.
Not all VPNs are created equal; for example SaferNet uses a 256-bit, bank-grade VPN built on cutting edge cloud technology, and is designed to keep you and your work data safe. Many other VPNs profit by using the information you’ve gathered in the tunnel and sell it. If you are going to go through the process of protecting your company’s information you want to know that your VPN is actually working for you.
2 Malware and Virus Protection
Most of us are familiar with one form or another of Malware Protection. Usually you’ll get a trial when purchasing a new laptop or desktop. However these trials tend to expire, or the software is not updated and is often forgotten over time, which leaves devices extremely vulnerable to attacks. In a medium or large business, workers on-site will have their security serviced by the company IT staff to circumvent this. This poses an issue when the workers is operating from their home – Without company security, using outdated or expired antivirus software, a major breach is always a possibility. Most VPNs do not offer any form of Malware or Virus Protection. All devices protected by SaferNet tackle this differently; We quarantine the virus in the cloud, before it can hit your device, keeping your systems healthy, operational, and safe.
3 Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication, or 2FA as it’s commonly abbreviated, adds an extra step to your basic log-in procedure. Without 2FA, you enter in your username and password, and then you’re done. The password is your single factor of authentication. The second factor makes your account more secure. You’ve probably done this without knowing for some apps and accounts – Have you tried logged into your bank or financial accounts, and had to enter a numerical code that you’ve been texted? This is 2FA.
2FA should be used on all sensitive accounts you log into, with both Google and Apple offering popular 2FA apps – Google Authenticator and Authenticator respectively
4 Being aware of the risks of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD)
It is not an uncommon scenario; Workers are sent home to work remotely, and the company doesn’t have the resources to supply each employee with a work device such as a laptop, and so the employee uses their personal laptop. For convenience, this is a great solution. For security, this is a nightmare and a time-bomb waiting to go off. Personal devices may not have up-to-date operating systems, and generally may be ridden with security risks. BYOD culture is on the rise in the workforce, but without best operating procedures in place, it can cause serious headaches for a company. Using a security-focused, always-on VPN such as SaferNet can prepare any device to be used safely for sensitive work.
Street-smarts are as important in the real-world as they are in the digital streets, and education in the risks of the Internet is an invaluable defense against cybersecurity risks. For an employer, providing resources for the education and training of staff will provide them with the tools they need to identify the risks associated with wireless networks along with proving them the skills required to successfully navigate through a remote work day in a secure manner.
As you can see, Cybersecurity is critically important to any work you do remotely. SaferNet can give you peace-of-mind and complete, 24/7, always-on security now. With an easy setup, SaferNet is the only option for employees and employers looking for online safety in a time of uncertainty.
Best of all, to make the most of SaferNets features, you can try it out for free! Visit www.safernet.com/try-now/ and secure yourself from the dangers of the Internet Today