The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, and many companies transitioned to WFH with very little warning. That led to a rise in cyber attacks and security breaches, and raised a lot of questions about cybersecurity for remote workers.
Now that we’re moving back to some semblance of normal, we’re looking back at some of the biggest cybersecurity lessons businesses learned during the pandemic. The team at ESET have helped businesses adapt through it all, and they said there are 4 key takeaways for any company that’s open to employees working from home.
#1 Secure every employee’s devices and networks
Think of cybersecurity as building a fortress. The more obstacles you can add, the harder it will be for hackers to gain access.
As an employer, you want to make sure your employees are using secure devices and networks. To do that, work through this checklist:
#2 Pay attention to possible scams
In the cybersecurity world, one of the biggest lessons of the pandemic was to not take the bait! Phishing attempts (or email scams) have always been popular among cybercriminals, but they exploded in 2020 — in fact, people lost $57 million to phishing schemes in 2020 according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Hackers are opportunities, so they’re taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty around COVID-19 to send phishing emails. Their goal? To steal your data or extort you for money. Healthcare-related scams aside, we’re seeing an uptick in classic phishing emails pretending to be from banks, social media sites and online stores.
While phishing emails often look authentic, there are a few red flags, like requests for sensitive information (like passwords or credit card numbers). You can also look out for typos in the subject line or body copy, weird language, or email addresses that don’t match the company’s URL or previous emails you’ve received from them. There might also be suspicious links or attachments in the email — if you hover over the link and spot a strange URL or file type (like .exe or .zip), that’s a clue the email isn’t legitimate.
If you get a phishing email, take action right away to mitigate any damage. Here’s what to do with suspicious emails:
On a typical workday, employees might hop between email, storage drives, payroll software, messaging platforms and video-conferencing programs. With all of that movement, it’s important to use multi-factor authentication solutions.
This requires you to provide at least two forms of verification before you can access the site or system you’re trying to enter. For example, your employees might type in their password, and then enter a code they received via email or text. This makes it more difficult to unlock your accounts and gain access to sensitive information.
And it works. This work from home cybersecurity step blocks 100% of automated attacks, according to Google! To help you protect your business against attackers, the Australian Cyber Security Center has put together practical guides on how to set up multi-factor authentication on your various accounts.
#4 Train employees on cybersecurity best practices
Sometimes, cyber attacks are successful because of human error — like an employee opening a phishing email or clicking on a link that downloads a virus to their computer. Your employees might not be aware of cybersecurity best practices, which can leave your company vulnerable to a breach.
That’s where cybersecurity awareness training coms in. Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, it’s a good idea to set up a training that teaches employees how to protect their devices and networks and flag any threats.
Along with the other tips we mentioned, these are key points to cover:
Get more work from home security tips
One of the upsides of the pandemic was that it made workplaces more flexible, but it also opened the door for hackers to do their dirty work. Luckily, there are a few ways to strengthen your company’s cybersecurity and give yourself the peace of mind in knowing your data is safe.
Questions? Get in touch with ESET to learn about the best home antivirus software for employees.
Author bio: ESET is a global internet security company, providing threat detection solutions for businesses and consumers in more than 200 countries and territories.