Coronavirus Pandemic: 5 Steps to Securely Working from Home

Coronavirus Pandemic: 5 Steps to Securely Working from Home

The UK, like many other countries, is facing a potential lockdown with the latest UK government advice advising all employees who can work from home should do so immediately.

The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is gaining pace across the globe and health officials, and the UK government are advising that people stay at home where possible to prevent contracting the virus and spreading it around the population.

For those that can work from home and avoid the office should do so.

Here are 5 tips to working securely from home

 

1. Think first. One of the easiest ways for cyber-attackers to penetrate your organisation’s security measures is you. If they want your passwords or other credentials, they may target you through phishing emails or may even call you purporting to be from Microsoft or some other technology company themselves. Don’t fall victim to this type of cyber-attack.

Best practice tips: –

      • Microsoft or other technology companies would NEVER call you to tell you that you have a virus – they wouldn’t know themselves.
      • NEVER give out your passwords to anyone. Not even your IT support provider or your IT manager.
      • DON’T open attachments in emails you are not expecting to receive and make sure you know who it is from before attempting to open it.
      • CHECK the details in the email and the senders email address. Does it look authentic.
      • DON’T open links in emails that look suspicious and aren’t from someone you know. Ask yourself this question: why are they sending me a link?

For further information on phishing scams read our earlier post here: https://www.mmrit.com/news/security/why-phishing-attacks-are-a-growing-threat-to-your-business/

2. Home Wi-Fi Network. Many routers that are supplied by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) already contain a password to connect to the router and access the internet. To make your home network more secure, you should change your default password to something complex such as uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Remember: only allow the people you trust to connect to your home network.

3. Make sure the passwords you use for online sites and accounts are secure. Never use the same password more than once and remember you can use a password management tool to make things easier for you. If you use an iPhone or Mac, you can use Apple’s Keychain to remember the passwords for you.

Where possible, you should enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure logins to sites. More information about creating strong passwords and 2FA can be found here: https://www.mmrit.com/news/security/how-and-why-you-should-create-a-strong-password/  

4. Software updates. Make sure your devices are up to date with the latest software updates and that software patches are applied where possible. Making sure you are running the newest software versions closes loopholes hackers may have found to gain unauthorised entry into your out of date software.

5. Hands off. Make sure your work devices and laptops that are used solely for work purposes are stored securely and that no one else uses them. This means making sure that you don’t allow children or guests to use them as they could unknowingly infect or compromise the device.

Now we’ve got the basics covered; we want to summarise easily to remember do’s and don’ts to help keep you covered: –

DO’S

  • DO call our Service Desk if you’re not sure how best to stay secure
  • DO report data breach (even suspected) immediately
  • DO keep your software and operating system up to date
  • DO be mindful of connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi
  • DO treat data security as if you were working in the office
  • DO use your work device exclusively for work data

DON’TS

  • DON’T disclose your password to anyone
  • DON’T allow anyone to remotely connect to your device without understanding the risks
  • DON’T allow other members of your family to use your work device
  • DON’T leave your work device unlocked
  • DON’T leave any printed material unsecured
  • DON’T move work data on to a personal device