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Tips to create a secure ‘Work from Home’ culture and practices

Here are some useful tips to create a secure ‘Work from Home’ culture and practices

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Soma Tah
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Soma Tah & Ashok Pandey

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The future of work is remote and hybrid and there is no way organizations can afford to ignore this trend. A recent Gartner survey shows that 76pc of employees have an expectation for continued flexibility, and a growing majority of organizations are ready to support them with hybrid work.  

The pandemic has significantly forced organizations throughout industries to become more digital. The growing dependency on technology to enable remote work and online collaboration has become the new normal. This transformative change also implies that new cyber-attacks can surface and threaten the data security of an organization.  

According to Mercer Study carried out in 2021, 70pc of organizations have shifted to a hybrid model of working post the pandemic. In a study conducted by HP’s Wolf Security division, 83pc of respondents opined that work from home has become a ‘ticking time bomb’ resulting in a breach of their organization's networks. So, thwarting security risks while working from home needs a disciplined approach to handling digital assets.  

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While employees working within the confines of the corporate network will have the security and privileges inside the firewall, organizations find it difficult to manage employees accessing data and applications from outside of their network.    

Organizations working with remote connectivity solutions must be mindful to keep their communications, data, and infrastructure secure and private. It is important to remember that, in doing so, employees are using their home networks to connect to global servers. Using solutions like VPN while working from home on your devices can go a long way. It was initially meant only for enterprises and is now also available in security solutions for consumers too. VPN can help protect your connected devices against rouge Wi-Fi attacks, evil twin attacks, DNS spoofing, ARP spoofing, HTTPs vulnerabilities, and other such online threats.   

Ritesh Chopra, Director- Sales & Field Marketing, India & SAARC, NortonLifeLock

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Consumers should also be aware that if you check your emails on your phone or access your bank account or even shop online, apps tend to target communication networks when users log into an unsecure or faulty network to gain access to this data. To help them keep their passwords unique and not lose track of new passwords. 

Krunal Patel, Director & Head of Business- India & South Asia, TeamViewer

Security features like end-to-end encryption or multi-factor authentication for accounts and individual incoming connections to strengthen the secure usage of its connectivity solutions. Companies can keep their critical systems and infrastructure safe while benefiting from the advantages of remote connectivity. 

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Shashank Sharma, Associate Principal Analyst, Gartner

The onset of work from home brought tremendous disruptions in most organizations as many weren’t prepared for it. By 2025, massive generational shifts will force 75pc of organizations to adapt their hybrid work strategies to include demands for radical flexibility.

Primarily, Identity is a security perimeter, so securing the identity should be the focus for everyone. Keep updating the security credentials of all online accounts and utilize two-step authentication steps. To ensure the protection of identity, modify (login credentials, device you use to log in, application you are trying to access) using an additional layer of authentication i.e., MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication). Enabling MFA is an effective way to protect yourself while interacting with the digital world, via OTP, authenticator app, Fast Identity Online (FIDO2) key authentication, etc. Interestingly, Microsoft is focusing a lot on password-less authentication. Moreover, the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello for Business is providing higher security and higher usability in terms of MFA.   

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Here are some of the best remote working security recommendations to keep you and your employees safe while working from home.

At home, install antivirus and internet security software

Investing in a complete antivirus package for you and your staff is one of the most effective security advice for working from home. Emails are necessary for communication among coworkers. They are also one of the most easily exploited and compromised modes of communication. Keep an eye out for email frauds and make sure your email security is up to date. 

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Ensure that your passwords are both strong and secure

Strengthening your passwords and ensuring that you have optimum password protection across all of your devices is one of the simplest yet frequently ignored ways to secure yourself when working from home. Passwords should be used on all of your devices and apps. Using a password manager to help you keep track of all your passwords.

Ensure that all the software are updated
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When you get reminders that software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Don’t wait. Update. You can configure your devices to update automatically also. Encourage your teams to upgrade their software to the latest version supported under the company's security policy. Updates help patch security flaws and help protect your data. Updates can also add new security features to your devices and remove outdated ones.  

Use a virtual private network (VPN)

Companies should seek measures to improve the security of their VPN. Using the most secure authentication method feasible helps improve VPN security. Many VPNs employ usernames and passwords, but you might want to consider switching to smart cards. For VPN access, you can additionally improve your encryption strategy.

Protect your Wi-Fi network at home

Strengthening the security of your home Wi-Fi network is one of the simplest ways to assure cybersecurity for remote workers. You may accomplish this by following a few simple steps. Rather than depending on the router’s default password, create a strong, unique password. Make sure network encryption is turned on. Make sure you’re using the most recent firmware version.

Make use of a centralized storage system

If you suspect that your employees are unaware of or unfamiliar with your storage service, or that they are still storing files locally, ensure that they are aware of the centralized service. If your firm is hacked and local data is lost, destroyed, or compromised, you’ll be more likely to have a backup of critical information. Important documents will also be safer with this strategy, as they will be safeguarded by the firewall tied to your centralized storage system.

Safeguard your online banking

If you’re in charge of a company’s finances, you need to make sure that money is stored and transferred in the safest possible method. It’s critical to only use certified software and services when dealing with money. Make sure you’re using a Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol to access a banking website. Passwords can be tightened to improve the security of your corporate and personal bank accounts.

Keep online meetings safe

Working from home means taking part in virtual meetings, which require the use of your webcam. Unfortunately, savvy hackers can easily access your webcam without permission, compromising your privacy. Invest in a sliding webcam cover. During video calls, use the "blur background" feature if your platform has it. This can prevent people in your conferences from spying on objects in the background of your home, which can often include sensitive data about you or your clients.

Avoid oversharing your screen during online meetings. Try not to leave any windows open that you don’t want to share. It’s also a privacy issue. You might accidentally share content that is not meant to be viewed by others.

Also Read: 

https://www.pcquest.com/malicious-actors-on-the-prowl-dont-let-your-guard-down-ever/

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