Companies’ official networks do usually possess higher security levels as compared to public or even home networks. Thus connecting to official networks from the public internet or home could expose official networks as well to malicious attacks. Security settings of your personal machines should be at the highest possible levels for working remotely.
EmailSpear phishing and phishing have always been favorite tools of hackers. In spear phishing the emails seem to be from any known or renowned sender. Just by clicking a malicious link you get exposed to the scammer who is ready to steal your secrets. Once your email accounts are hacked, your passwords, data regarding bank accounts or credit cards could be accessed. So never open attachments of unknown emails or never click links in such emails. Use different email accounts for work and for other activities. The same goes for different passwords to be used for different email accounts. And keep on regular scanning for malware. Using a two stage authorization is the best practice. Adapting email encryption is also helpful to improve cyber security.
NetworksRelying over VPN to connect to your official networks, while working remotely, could be the first shield against malware. Home WiFi is more secure than a public / common working place WiFi. To avoid vulnerability, official documents and sites should be accessed from home networks. And at least WPA2 level secured WiFi should be used. Unsecured apps should be plugged out while you are working at remote i.e. Alexa or other smart home apps etc. Since these apps are not meant for business, they may be helpful or entertaining you, but could make your network vulnerable during business usage and your security could be compromised through them.
Operating SystemThere are various ransom-ware and malware to attack OS by malicious applications i.e. Trojans. They disable the security of the OS and can steal data or other sensitive information. Attackers can leverage the target system in many ways. Any malicious script could be patched in the booting system which could run a malicious process under camouflage of a legitimate one. Always keep your OS up to date with respect to security. Your OS should be a supported one. There is more of a need for well known antivirus and your browser should always be updated with latest patches. The drivers for different peripherals should always be updated and their signature enforcement should be enabled in your OS. Microsoft has provided a driver security checklist that applies to Windows. In the same way security checklists should be adapted for other OSs.
Data SecurityWhile you are working remotely always use the company’s approved cloud applications. Keeping the documents developed, edited, saved and backed up over approved cloud application will keep them secure. Usage of personal devices to store business data could never be recommended. To protect data single sign on (SSO) is the technology that would save your login credentials. You will find it practiced by Google when you try to sign in your account from a different device; Google protects you by rigorous verifications. Data encryption is placed as a second ultimate shield for those who connect remotely.
ConclusionAbove mentioned precautions regarding networks, OS, e-mail and data security keep you secured at the basic levels. Taking care of minimum standards will always protect you from vulnerability. However, hiring services of professional service providers to take the responsibility of your cyber security would be an ultimate solution.
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