Monthly Archives: May 2020

Keeping Your Network Secure in the Era of Remote Work

Approximately two months have passed since the beginning of social distancing, and working from home has become the norm. Virtual private networks are a way for remote workers to access the business’ system from home and therefore keep working, and these networks need to stay strong and secure. Read on to learn more about maintaining this link between your employees and your business.

Keeping the Network Secure

Because your workers access your network from a variety of locations, there are many more places for malware or other intrusions to enter. In order to prevent unauthorized access, the starting point is training workers to access the network. They will need a strong password that cybercriminals cannot guess. The connection itself will need to be secure, limited to a work-issued computer on the network, one with the most current antivirus and anti-malware definitions. By this time, employees need to understand how to recognize and avoid social engineering schemes such as phishing, and to report any suspicious emails.

Protecting Your Work Equipment

Having up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware equipment is vital, and so is physically protecting work equipment, especially that provided by the employer. If possible, work in a separate office. When not working, equipment needs to be off, and the door locked in order to prevent theft or unauthorized access. Keeping the equipment physically safe increases the chances of keeping it (and the network it connects to) safe from cyber attacks, as well. If an office isn’t available, the worker can indicate that equipment is off-limits by closing the laptop or covering the desktop computer and telephone. 

Physically protecting work equipment, and safeguarding your virtual private network and monitoring its health and safety, are critical to keeping it functioning at its best. To evaluate and improve your network in this time of remote work, contact your trusted technology advisor today. 

Cybersecurity in Challenging Times

In these unprecedented times, we spend more time than ever on various devices, using them both for work and recreation. As in other difficult times, heroes rise to the occasion. However, so do bad actors, seeking to take advantage of the situation. Read on to learn more about protecting yourself from cyber attacks.

Hazards to Watch For

Cyberattacks are on the rise these days, with bad actors looking to take advantage of the situation, playing both on people’s fears, and their desire to help others. As ever, though, we can protect ourselves using tools along with caution and common sense. Social engineering schemes, including phishing attacks, are used to gain confidential information from unwitting victims or to install malware on their devices. For instance, a person might receive emails that look like ones from credible organizations, and these emails capitalize on fears of COVID-19. Cybercriminals might use “spoofing” as a tactic, making an email seem like it’s from someone you know. It might contain an urgent appeal to buy items for a relative because the “sender” is in quarantine. Other possibilities are ads for items like masks or stories about vaccines and cures for COVID-19. 

Keep Your Network and Your Employees Secure

Many businesses now have employees working remotely, accessing the business’ computer network. The first tool that can help keep the network secure is a virtual private network (VPN) that workers can use to safely access files and applications. Other tools that should be part of the arsenal are current antivirus and anti-malware definitions. Remind workers of common-sense precautions like not clicking on links or attachments. If they receive a strange email that appears to be from a supervisor or coworker, they can call to find out if the email is genuine. If it isn’t, they need to report and delete the email. They can point the mouse arrow over the URL to see if that looks suspicious, and refrain from responding to the email. Just being aware that cyber attacks are on the rise can help workers keep their guard up. An option to test workers’ knowledge of phishing attacks is staging a mock attack to learn which people respond, and in what way.

A great writer said that people need to be reminded rather than instructed, and this can apply to cybersecurity. To learn more about how to keep your network and your employees safe, contact your trusted technology advisor today.