Many home offices are merely a business tentacle complete with a virtual private network ( VPN), centrally controlled workstations doing the heavy lifting with IT specialists at the corporate offices. But to work it out, some lack almost some kind of IT super-sleuth and that means that the end user is the IT staff, like it or not.
Not to panic, if this is you. Because “Securing computers at home and work” is the focus of the Cybersecurity Awareness Month this week, here are five items you can do to protect your home office without an advanced degree in cybersecurity or a budget in the millions. The first point, before we dive in, is really just to get started. Any security is much better than zero, and because it’s too easy to get distracted with technology and give up, we’re glad that you’re still reading and that you’re going to plan and hop in.
Get started on the router
The router you use for internet connexion these days does much more than you would imagine. It has a firewall, wireless networking, certain security options and a range of other options. If you spend an extra US$ 50 and get a business-class router, additional security solutions such as stateful packet inspection firewall, Denial-of – Service (DoS) protection, filtering of content and others will come with it. In some of the crazier security features, you don’t have to be an expert, but business routers are typically more secure out-of-the-box, and have strong help to tell you what to allow. Some come with built-in danger feeds, so they keep up with blocking the new malady. Even, after upgrading the router, remember to check for new firmware, and regularly check with the vendor for changes, say, once a month.
Stick to the fundamentals
“Use defence software that requires several safety layers; yes, defence suites nowadays appear to have security stacks and are no longer simply” one-dimensional antiviruses. Often, keep the operating system and software installed, preferably automatically, since the upgrades also contain important security fixes. If you haven’t already, now is the time to enact full-disk encryption-even if you operate from home, you can have “off-site” meetings to which you take your laptop, and there is never a chance of physical burglary. Speaking of which, the value of daily backups is difficult to overstate.
You do not care about your family or homemates stealing your computer, and yet they do cause you or your employer some trouble, even if accidentally. Be sure that you have a dedicated protected workstation that you use for work and that a clear password or passphrase that you do not share with someone else prevents access to data stored on it. Simply put, if everyone has a password, it’s not just a password. By extension, for stuff like talking with friends or watching movies, your family shouldn’t even use the unit. Often, set short timeout periods so that when not in operation, the system locks itself automatically. And maybe when you have calls or video meetings involving confidential details, your virtual pal, such as Alexa or Siri, could do with some time off.
It did not take long for fraudsters of all sorts to catch on to the then-new truth, using the virus in a barrage of COVID-19-themed scams and spam as a cover storey. The virus is now deeply embedded in our minds and cybercriminals have by no way abandoned their attempts to syphon off business funds or hold ransom information from organisations, even by taking advantage of the pattern of remote work and the physical separation between co-workers. For eg, Business Email Compromise (BEC) theft has long been a big money-maker, and only in the middle of the pandemic are the losses projected to rise higher. In order to address this, scrutinise all email messages and avoid clicking on any links or attachments, especially in unsolicited emails, as attempts could be made to detach you from your account credentials or to download malware to your computer. Be particularly wary of urgent inquiries and check them prior to sending money or data via an alternate contact system.
It’s amazing what you can learn from down-to – earth security podcasts or videos. There are also an infinite range of free or low-priced courses that can provide you with a firm foundation on every security factor imaginable. However, don’t pick one that’s written well over your head; instead, find those that you can quickly grasp that lead you a step at a time through the fundamentals. We’ve previously assembled a list of free security online classes, which may also be worth checking. Put plainly, an alternative should not be blissful ignorance.
Stay safe and healthy
While these days we all have new concerns, the old concerns and cyber attacks have not gone anywhere; actually, quite the reverse. You may still be relatively new to operating remotely and may still be struggling to get a grip on the new truth. That said, the current troubling times may demand a change of attitude, thinking of your remote office as your “actual” office and becoming intensely aware of the numerous cyber threats that can strike “close to home” of particular.