While teleworking during the Coronavirus outbreak can help slow the spread of the virus, it introduces many challenges and risks. We at PamTen want you to know that we are here to assist you and your company make it through these unprecedented times. We are all in this together! Please feel free to contact us with any technology questions you may have.
While there is no guide or playbook to follow for what we are currently experiencing, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your systems and data as your business transitions to a Work-From-Home model.
Online Security Tips
- Start with cybersecurity basics. Make sure all remote workers have your company’s security software loaded on all devices being used for remote work, and ensure all software is updated with the most recent security patches. If your company is not following password best practices now is a good time to start! All passwords should contain at least 12 characters and include a combination of numbers, symbols, capital and lowercase letters.
- Secure home networks. Turn on encryption (WPA2 or WPA3). Encryption scrambles information sent over your network so outsiders can’t read it. WPA2 and WPA3 are the most up-to-date encryption standards to protect information sent over a wireless network. No WPA3 or WPA2 options on your router? Try updating your router software, then check again to see if WPA2 or WPA3 are available. If not, consider replacing your router or purchasing VPN software. For more information, read Securing Your Wireless Network, Secure Remote Access and Shopping for a VPN App.
- Secure remote devices. Make sure your laptop is password-protected, locked and secure when not in use. While the risk of theft is lower when the laptop is at home, the risk of damage still exists.
- Secure your data. Remind your employees to follow physical security best practices when working from home. Keep confidential information out of sight and under lock and key when not in use. Don’t comingle work and personal data on the same device. Backup your data to the cloud, avoid storing confidential information on USB memory sticks. Viruses and malware are commonly transmitted using these devices. If you need to dispose of confidential information at home, Shred it first.
- Train your employees. The expanding COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunities for cybercriminals to unleash a wave of sophisticated scams to take advantage of our fears and the demand for accurate and timely information. Tell your employees to watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus. Do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize. Be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received. Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. The best sources for authoritative information on COVID-19 are www.cdc.gov and www.coronavirus.gov. Learn more, read Coronavirus Scams.