Cybersecurity when working from home

If your business doesn’t have the right cybersecurity precautions in place, then working from home can put your assets at serious risk.

COVID-19 is forcing many businesses to have employees work from home and the change may be difficult for some teams, especially if they haven’t worked remotely before. The focus is often on your team’s productivity, communication, equipment and ability, however, cybersecurity is a crucial element that should not be overlooked.

Most home networks are not secure. Employees working from home may unintentionally put business assets at risk when they access work-related files on their personal devices and through personal wifi connections. Employers should inform workers that their personal devices probably don’t have the security systems that workplace devices have in place, such as anti-virus software, secure network connections and automatic online backup systems. They should therefore avoid downloading business materials onto their personal devices, hard drives, desktops or their own cloud system.

Here are some measures you can consider to strengthen your cybersecurity:

  • Use a virtual private network (VPN). This will improve your online privacy and encrypt your internet traffic, meaning that hackers who intercept it will not be able to read your data.
  • Make sure home routers are secured by changing passwords, installing firmware updates, restricting inbound and outbound traffic, using a high level of encryption and switching off WPS.
  • Don’t use public wifi, such as libraries or shopping centres as they won’t be secure.
  • Equip employees with up to date security software and manufacturer software updates.
  • Set up multi-factor authentication to allow you to verify your identity
  • Prohibit employees from working in public spaces where others can see their screen
  • Use encrypted communications so that it is unreadable to interceptors
  • Backup data regularly to avoid any lost data