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Posted on: March 18, 2020

“Wash Your Hands and Work from Home.”

Wash your hands and work from home” is the consistent and seemingly straightforward advice offered by leaders across the world in these unsettling times.  Coronavirus is dominating our everyday life and possibly changing the way we work forever.  In just a few weeks the whole world has gone from a workplace-based culture to knowledge workers being almost exclusively home based.  The boundaries for business have changed, and it caught us by surprise.  While numerous studies have shown that working from home can help employees increase productivity, what does it mean for your business when your staff are thrust out of the warm, safe cocoon of the office, into the unknown world of public WiFi and increasingly sophisticated hackers and adversaries?

Over half of companies surveyed by Apricorn said that the biggest concern with employees working remotely is the complexity of the technologies and software used, and their inability to secure them.  In this environment, employees no longer have the same support or infrastructure as they would in the office, leaving them vulnerable to ‘tailgating’, exposure of sensitive data and scams.  What steps can you take to protect your business in these times of uncertainty?

  • Different controls around who accesses what data – ensure protection is embedded at the data level, rather than at the perimeter level. By using methods like tokenization, you can ensure the information becomes useless to someone who does not have authorization to access it
  • Consider access restrictions – establish if the employee needs access to the organization’s internal network or just access cloud-based services and email. Consider whether the same level of access to sensitive data enjoyed in the office need to be granted at home
  • Enforce multifactor authentication (MFA) and advise employees to create strong passwords – MFA ensures that access, whether to cloud-based services or full network access, is by authorized users only and strong and varied passwords can avoid ‘credential stuffing’ if one password is compromised
  • Use a VPN – this encrypts all internet traffic so that it is unreadable and therefore useless to anyone who intercepts it
  • Install updates on devices regularly – these updates often include patches for security vulnerabilities that have been uncovered since the last iteration was released
  • Use collaborative tools to protect against cybercriminals – we’ve already seen criminals use Coronavirus as an opportunity to launch Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks. You can use systems as a formal part of the approval system so that validation can be made ‘in person’ even when working remotely

Whilst we are in the midst of an unprecedented and uncertain time, at Protegrity, we can be certain about one thing – we know how to protect your sensitive data.  We care deeply about privacy, security and online safety which are a significant part of our essential mission: to protect users and products and services from the risks of theft, disruption and unauthorized access to their online information and activities.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you “keep calm and carry on.”