Have you considered the potential security risks posed by remote workers as your business adjusts to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? It’s important to reflect on the events of the last few months before affirming your preparedness for a cyberattack. Each new employee working from home can represent a doorway for malicious actors to access and exploit your company’s sensitive data. Consider the possibility of a cyberattack and take the necessary steps to ensure your business is protected.
The implementation of new technologies, such as IoT devices, may provide more access points to consider when assessing the security of a business. However, due to the commonly known security risks associated with these gadgets, extra care must be taken to ensure the safety of the business. The creation of tailored software and cloud applications by a professional provider, such as Works, can be beneficial in this regard, although it may not be enough to guarantee complete protection.
It is recommended that you review and update your cybersecurity policies and procedures in light of recent changes. Although this may require some effort, it is a worthwhile investment to safeguard against the potential financial and reputational damage that a cybersecurity attack may cause. Updating your three-ring binder will help to ensure you have the most up to date protection.
Create a Security Detail
Assigning a body to oversee the cybersecurity revamp is the first step. Members of this group need to be ready to:
- Assess the level of readiness the organization has in place to deal with cybersecurity threats.
- Think through the present plans and make any necessary changes.
- Make sure everyone in the company has received cybersecurity training.
- Put together some safeguards for your WFH workers and roll them out.
- Act as the first line of defense in the event of an assault.
Identifying potential team members from within the IT department is a sound initial step, however, it is also worth considering personnel from other departments such as Human Resources. Appointing individuals who have already demonstrated leadership qualities (regardless of their official job title) is recommended, as it is likely that their subordinates will be more receptive to following their guidance. For optimal results, it is advisable to create a direct reporting line between the CEO and the team leader.
It is essential that the cybersecurity team create a backup plan to ensure continued communication in the event of unavailability of any essential services, such as the company’s email or project management software. This strategy must include all stakeholders, such as employees, customers and suppliers.
Adjust Safety Procedures
It is not possible to make generalisations about the security measures that are both necessary and feasible for each individual business. The best approach is to identify areas of vulnerability and then take steps to strengthen them. Below are some suggestions.
- Adopt Multi-Factor Authentication. Password authentication alone is no longer adequate when it comes to protecting enterprise accounts. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides an additional layer of security by requiring the user to confirm their identity via an additional step, such as receiving a code in a text message.
- Updates to the program. Cybersecurity 101 emphasises the importance of frequently updating and fixing software. A plan should be in place for when programs will be updated if they are not done automatically by the IT department. Particularly sensitive data should be prioritised in terms of any associated costs.
- Verify the DDoS defense system. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are conducted by leveraging networks of compromised computers, often referred to as botnets. Microsoft suggests that organisations ensure they have robust DDoS defences in place that are kept constantly active, automated for network layer mitigation and capable of providing near real-time alerting and monitoring.
- Build reliable systems for keeping data safe. It is essential to have both local and remote backups of your data, as data breaches can occur even with the best security measures in place. This way, you can maintain access to your information in the event of a breach.
- Strengthen your facility’s defenses. It is recommended that a policy is implemented to ensure that ID cards are presented each time employees enter or exit the premises. Furthermore, surveillance cameras should be used to monitor entrances and key workstations. Finally, management should encourage all staff to report any suspicious behaviour or activity.
Incorporate WFH Strategies
It may seem challenging to ensure that employees adhere to cybersecurity standards when working from home; however, there are a number of steps that can be taken to help protect your company’s sensitive data.
- Make sure your Wi-Fi is safe. It is essential to ensure that all staff devices are kept up-to-date and are secured with strong passwords. Furthermore, employees should not be encouraged to work in public locations with untrusted Wi-Fi networks.
- Keep the hardware of your device secure. It is conceivable that some employees may prefer to work in a shared office, which is acceptable provided the network is secure. However, those working in such environments must be extra vigilant in ensuring their devices are securely locked when unattended.
- Employ Virtual Private Networks. Providing the remote working staff with the latest versions of VPN equipment will ensure secure transmission and receipt of information, as if they were directly connected to the internal network.
- Get your messages over securely by using encryption. Business Insider recommends that businesses actively encourage the use of encrypted, enterprise-specific platforms such as Wickr, as opposed to messaging services like WhatsApp, which may have security vulnerabilities.
- Separate your home computer from your work computer. It is recommended that workers practice the same kind of separation at home as they do in the workplace.
- Put on some virus protection software. It is essential that trustworthy anti-virus software be installed on all company computers.
Some of these precautions, along with some others, are discussed in the video below:
Organize Safety Seminars
It is essential that a comprehensive security strategy is in place, and that all staff, regardless of their position, receive regular training to ensure they have an understanding of the importance of network security. To ensure that network security is taken seriously throughout the organisation, it should become part of the organisational culture and each employee should be vigilant in maintaining it. In order to prepare for a potential breach, employees should be encouraged to participate in drills and exercises to ensure that they are ready to respond swiftly and effectively.
Show the Way, Please
Employees should be aware of the importance of cyber security to their organisation’s leaders. Managers should set an example by demonstrating their commitment to the issue and staying informed on the latest developments. This, combined with regular communication with the security team, will ensure the organisation remains secure during the pandemic and beyond.