5 Essential Cybersecurity Practices for Working Remotely

As Remote Work Increases, So Must the Need for Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is, of course, essential. Yet recently, either because of personal preference or necessity, companies have become faced with remote or work from anywhere activity. As many as 86% of all C-suite level executives are rightfully concerned about their sensitive data being increasingly breached when employees work remotely. Statistics show that there is an increase in companies suffering from a data breach.

Businesses are forced to accept the reality of their valuable staff members preferring to work remotely. Those who do enjoy working remotely, they must do so responsibly, by taking a proactive approach to protecting the data they access while out of the office.

Here are 5 Basic Cybersecurity Steps you can take to keep your data safe.

1. While Using a Public Computer or Wifi

A common perception is that we are now able to work with the faith that online technology is a way to enjoy more personal freedoms. People working on a project while in a café are now a common sight. Most hotels, to create a preference for their accommodations, offer internet access or a public guest computer. Guests who want to stay productive utilize them. This can be dangerous, especially if you are not taking the proper precautions.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you may have not utilized the same protections for your personal computer as your work computer. So, your personal computer is not secure for downloading private company data and information.

The best advice is to only use a company provided computer or laptop for work purposes.  This ensures that your network and systems are properly protected since your company provided device should be properly locked down.  We do recommend the use of MFA for all systems which provides a great extra layer of protection.

Many online services, like banks, encourage you to set up Two-Factor Authentication or OTA (One Time Authentication). This may be another important extra level of protection your company needs.

2. Enable Email Encryption

Emails are sent across the network as plain text so anyone can read that information easily. That is why email encryption is so important. If you send private data by email, use encryption every time you send it. Require the recipient to decrypt your email, otherwise, anyone can read your information with ease.

3. Be Aware of Inserting USBs

USB devices can contain malware. Treat any USB device as if it does contain malware, even from a tradeshow giveaway or new from a store. Any computer that has access to private data should never have a USB device plugged into it. You should never let anyone plug their device into yours. Practice safe information exchange.

4. Use Good Password Hygiene

Many times, we consider having to create a new password as an inconvenience or even a bother. People may use the same password for many services. This may be an obvious precaution to mention but this security measure is underestimated in many cases. We recommend using Lastpass to generate strong and unique passwords. This service is not only a good way to create stronger passwords, but it also simplifies the process of storing and using them.

5. Keep Physical Control of Your Devices

We also now recommend that you maintain physical control of your devices at all times. Never leave your device unattended. This may lead to a data leak when stolen and can put the entire company at risk. Computer theft is common. The average person is an easy target. Statistics reveal that at places like airports, a computer is stolen every 53 seconds. Most of us simply do not maintain a defensive mindset. We’d prefer to trust people. Cybercriminals are opportunists and take advantage of that.

Dyrand Systems believes that cybersecurity requires multiple types of precautions, some involve technology and some simply require common sense. The good news is that if you take the proper precautions you can access your data safely from most places you are likely to be working.