It’s safe to say, most of us are settled into home working now. For some, it may have taken a bit of adjusting; others perhaps always had a home office arrangement. Either way, under the current circumstances and with cyber criminals taking full advantage at the moment, we want to highlight some of the vulnerabilities home working can expose:
5 home working mistakes to avoid:
#1 Poor Password Protection
For work meetings and for keeping in touch with people for sheer sanity during the current lockdown period, you may have downloaded applications such as Zoom or Houseparty. These apps are great in their function and keeping us connected but their security has been brought into question.
It’s essential you protect your data by making sure your key business applications, such as Gmail and Office 365, use complex passwords unique to these applications only. Where possible, you should also consider 2-factor authentication: You can never be too protected.
You can find some tips on how to set a tight password in our blog: Common Cyber Attacks on Businesses and How to Stop Them
#2 Clapped-out Kit
Many businesses struggled to get hold of the laptops needed to get their teams set up for home working. However, the worst thing you can do is reach for that dusty old laptop packed away in the loft.
Old equipment runs old operating systems. End-of-life systems like Windows-7, are no longer supported with security updates, leaving them wide open with loopholes hackers can easily exploit. Plugging in a Windows-7 PC or laptop at home and connecting via a VPN, is the same as plugging it in directly onsite, posing a huge risk to your entire business network. Don’t do it!!!
#3 Inadequate Anti-Virus
Anti-virus software on a day-to-day home PC is often substandard for business use. If you or any of your team are using personal PCs or laptops whilst working from home, it’s important to understand that any connecting device that is not running sufficient anti-virus software, is a weak link in your network security.
#4 Unpatched Users
Much like the anti-virus weakness, unpatched home working equipment poses a huge cyber security risk. If an unpatched user is compromised, dangerous malware or ransomware could spread like wildfire through your business, encrypting all your data and rendering it useless.
Make sure your patch management solution covers all remote clients and prompt your team to have their automatic updates on.
Familiarise yourself with the common cyber threats to look out for during the COVID-19 pandemic.
#5 ‘On-Fire’ Firewall
If your business doesn’t operate fully cloud-based systems and you and your team members are connecting using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) instead, your firewall needs to be on-point. Non-industry-leaders can provide solutions but these often cut-corners on your security.
Ensure your firewall is up to the job of offering high levels of encryption between home connections and your head office – you can’t afford to compromise. Your IT provider should be able to give some clarity on this.
Jupiter IT Is More Than IT Support – It’s IT Consultancy
At Jupiter IT, we’re committed to raising awareness of cyber crime and tightening cyber security.
Our number one priority is the continuity of your business systems and we are on hand whenever you need us. Whether you need advice or support, get in touch today.