Our Cyber Security provider, The Armour Group, have given us some great tips on how to ensure your business can stay digitally secure when working from home:
- Get in the habit of checking the credentials of the programs you log in to. Is it a random link provided by email or has it come from a legitimate source that you know?
- If you have a team of people working from home at the moment, give staff regular security reminders.
- If you are using a new working platform that gives you the option to register for multi-factor authentication, then you should always take that option. Multi-factor authentication only allows access to a system when the user presents more than one factor to demonstrate you are who you are claiming to be. The first factor is usually the username and password, but the user may then be sent a code to an email address or a phone number for example. The second factor may also be in the form of security questions or even something physical like a token i.e. swipe card, key card etc.
- Ensure that any connections to the organisation network have adequate security provisions, for example a firewall - dedicated security appliance, so that hackers do not go unnoticed.
- Your staff may also need to use video-conferencing programs such as Skype or zoom. It is important not to put unnecessary personal information in the user profile of these applications for example – try to keep location, phone number and DOB private.
- To ensure that there are no security flaws in these applications, make sure they are also kept up to date and install any patches as soon as they become available.
- Make sure your business has the best anti-virus / anti-malware software you can afford. Increased use of the Internet for anything increases your risk of clicking on or downloading something nasty to your network, and you need the best protection within your budget to ensure the safety of your business.
- The amount of malicious content on web applications is rapidly increasing in both frequency and expertise. There are new attacks everyday so it is also important to keep your anti-virus program updated everyday and allow it to stay current.
- If you have a wireless router, check that your wireless network is secure so that people living nearby can’t access it. It is best to set up your network so that only people with a wireless ‘key’ (i.e. password) can connect to your network.
- If your network is secured by a password, users will be prompted for a password when they try to access the network for the first time and there should be a padlock symbol next to your wireless network. If this doesn’t happen, your network isn’t protected and anyone can connect to your network.
- It is always best to change the name of your network – but not to anything that identifies it to you or your family/home. You should also change the default password, as these are often freely available to attackers online if they know where to look. You should choose a password of at least 8 characters, with a mix of case, numbers and symbols. The current advice is to pick three random words or a memorable phrase.
- Always cross-check information, if you are not sure about what you are being asked to do, speak to your line manager or your IT team.
Working from home is now occurring for many businesses across the UK, with it being a new experience for some people. If you have a team who have been given a laptop to now start working from home, ensure they have been given the right guidance for maintaining digital security as outlined above.