Avoiding Cyber-Attacks: Precautions to Take While Working from Home

In light of recent times, remote work has become a necessity for organizations across the world. This global shift took place within a matter of days, forcing companies to switch gears towards a new working landscape that will continue for months and, for some, indefinitely. With a surge in remote work comes a surge in the risk of cyberattacks and phishing.

Working from home comes with unique challenges. Employees find themselves using laptops and home computers without the layers of security controls that they would normally be protected with at the office. This leaves workers and companies vulnerable to data breaches and privacy concerns.

Internet security experts have reported a significant increase in cyberattacks and phishing, specifically targeting people working from home, in the form of emails and messages that lead to malware. This poses a risk to not only the workers but for companies and clients as a whole.

At Alpine Insurance & Financial Inc., we focus on protecting our customers in as many ways possible, including providing value in how we can help you navigate this uncertain time. Below are a guideline and steps to take to increase the safety of your business and employees online.

Upgrade and update your devices

Modern organizations take great care to make sure that business computers and devices are patched with the latest security upgrades and the right operating systems. When remote work calls for the use of personal laptops and cellphones, your data becomes susceptible to unauthorized access.

For added safety measures, be sure that your company has the latest available software updates installed and that devices are equipped with the most recent security patches. Any home devices need to be protected with an antivirus solution.

Always connect through a secure network

For increased safety, only connect with your personal WiFi, as public networks allow your private data to be accessed by unauthorized users. We recommend using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your activity. Contact your service provider to add a VPN to your plan.

For added safety, make sure that all devices including mobile and WiFi routers have password protection switched on and that your home Wifi connection is encrypted. These steps can be done in your router settings.

Change your passwords

Often times, variations of the same password are used across all platforms and software. This makes it easier for hackers to steal one password that will enable them to log in to your email, online banking, work accounts, and more.

Use strong, unique passwords for your logins and take advantage of password management software to help you keep track of multiple passwords. If your Internet router has a default password, we advise you to change it into a new and strong one.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires multiple credentials to verify a user’s identity. Some examples include facial recognition, codes sent through SMS, and answers to personal questions.

While usernames and passwords can be stolen, MFA creates multiple layers of security and is effective in providing enhanced protection against cybercriminals.

Verify your resources

Malware and malicious links can be disguised as valid websites or even sent through email addresses that closely resemble your colleagues’. If you sense any suspicious activity, it’s worth taking the time to double-check where it’s coming from and verify that it’s sent by an authorized source. Always check to see if the website has HTTPS in the URL, which is used for secure communication over a network.

Back up your data

In the case of a ransomware infection, it’s important that your team has a secure place to back up corporate data. Provide a list of reliable cloud services that employees can use to store or transfer data, and use a security solution that enables device and server encryption while backing up data.

Provide educational support for your employees

The best way to reduce the risk of a data breach is to educate your entire team on security awareness. This training should cover account and password management, email security, endpoint security, and safe web browsing to help protect your company.

If your employees face an IT or security issue, make sure that they know who to contact so that it can be addressed quickly and safely.

Invest in cyber insurance

Unfortunately, data breaches have resulted in major financial burdens and legal fees for companies. Cyber attacks and phishing damages more than just an organization’s system. It puts your clients’ and your employees’ personal information at risk and leaves them susceptible to identity theft.

Cyber insurance covers your business in the event of a data breach involving personal information such as credit card numbers, health records, driver’s licenses, and more. To safeguard your business and employees from cybercriminals while working from home, get in touch with an Alpine Insurance & Financial Inc. Broker today. We are here for you and are ready to answer your questions.

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