Remote work involves online communication, data exchange through e-mails, messages through various communication platforms such as WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, etc. Employees communicate with their managers through video-conferencing on Zoom, Skype, etc.
The confidential documents are shared virtually. Data loss, vandalism, plagiarism, etc. are some of the common cyber threats that are prevalent on the internet. Hence, data security becomes an issue. This issue needs to be addressed by every organization who is adopting remote working for its employees. The data needs to be stored and exchanged safely and securely to prevent cyber threats.
Employees may use their computer systems while working remotely. These systems are susceptible to cyber-attacks as they may not have security software or firewalls that the work systems and networks in offices have. Hence, while working from home, companies and employees need to ensure that they take precautionary measures to minimize cyber-security risks.
- Using anti-virus software: Anti-virus or anti-malware software is a computer program used to prevent, detect, and remove malware according to Wikipedia. Computer systems are susceptible to threats such as browser helper objects, browser hijackers, ransomware, worms, fraud tools, spyware, etc. Organizations implement different measures to prevent their computer systems from such types of threats. Hence, employees need to install anti-virus software for their computer systems when they are working remotely.
- Regularly updating the operating systems: Vulnerabilities in the operating systems are known to hackers. Procrastination for updating the software can thus cause blunders for the employees. Updating the current software and programs in the computer system saves the system from the clutches of the hacker as the new version is likely to be more secure and free from vulnerabilities.
- Avoiding open Wi-Fi: When an employee’s system has access to a public Wi-Fi, it is vulnerable to interception by the third parties. They may try to extract relevant information if they get access to the system. Hackers deploy tools that help them to intercept e-mails, listen to VOIP conversations, replicate cookies to authenticate the websites, etc. To avoid this, an employee must take care not to connect his system to open Wi-Fi.
- Changing router password: Attackers can crack router passwords easily as they are available on the internet, and almost every router has the same combination. Attackers write a malicious program that turns the router into a bot if the program works. Employers must thus change the password regularly and seek assistance from their service providers for continuing secure access.
- VPN – A virtual private network (VPN) makes a private network accessible through a public network. It enables sending and receiving data through shared or public networks as if the computer / devices were directly connected to the private network. This provides additional layer of security to companies for their data, storage and computing applications.
- Permissions – Smartphones have become indispensable for working on the go. With a lot many applications installed, smartphones could also become a source of data leaks. These applications seek variety of access permissions, many of which may not be required and necessary for the application’s functioning. Review such permissions in your phone and restrict access to applications to the minimal required.