If you’re working from home or outside your office, you use a personal device like a PC or laptop. With your work assets outside your company’s purview, remote security is more important than ever. Hackers are waiting for the next unprotected device, which can cost you a ton of money.
Securing your devices is a must in this day and age. You last want to compromise your data and potentially expose confidential information. Here are the top five remote working security tips you can follow to ensure you’re always protected.
1. Educate Yourself With Phishing And Malware
One of the oldest tricks in the cyber criminal’s book is phishing. As a variant for “fishing,” this tactic involves getting unsuspecting victims to divulge critical company information through emails and links. The most common method is an email posing as a legitimate business representative trying to gather passwords, login credentials, or corporate data.
Captchas and other verification methods won’t protect users against sophisticated hackers. They’ll merely have one of their bots fill in captchas for you. These bots are designed to get through all forms of authentication quickly.
Spear phishers are an even more dangerous threat. These attackers work to get employees to click on malicious web links. They can do this by sending emails that appear to come from someone they know.
The sender will pretend that they’re about to send a link that sends an embarrassing photo or video. A user usually sends the request to everyone in the company, serving as a “shot across the bow.” They typically mention checking a site on their smartphones to set things right.
Savvy users know never to open these emails. They often open a new, blank email and type their superior’s name as the subject. When you’re working at home, knowing not to click on unknown emails or links should be standard fare.
2. Use A VPN On Your Remote Device
A Virtual Private Network is one of the best investments you can make to protect your sensitive data. A VPN service encrypts and secures everything you do online. It uses a complex IP tunneling system to create a “tunnel” for your web traffic. This tunnel is impenetrable to cyber criminals.
Think of a VPN connection as a private tunnel between your device and the remote network. It encrypts and anonymizes your traffic, making it impossible for prying eyes to intercept it. The websites you visit can’t tell where you’re from. They can only see that you’re connected to a VPN server.
The traffic you send becomes “invisible” to potential hackers. Even if they hack your device, they won’t be able to see that you’re getting your work done. The latest VPNs offer military-grade encryption. Combined with features like malware scanners, they will keep your devices completely secure.
3. Install Multi-Factor Authentication
Verification methods are one of the essential aspects of any cybersecurity strategy. Smart users use a combination of multiple factors to make their systems as airtight as possible. Rather than simply using a password, you can use multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access.
With MFA, you can gain access by inputting a password and a security key. These are unique codes that change every 30 to 60 seconds. Many companies also use SMS-based solutions, but you can also use authenticator apps to bypass these.
Cybersecurity is now stepping up the game to make their products more secure. Google, for example, now offers FIDO2-compliant hardware tokens. For optimum performance, you should add voice and facial recognition as the next layer of defense.
By combining these methods, they become even more effective. The future of remote work is ensuring you can connect to everything you need from home, so multi-factor authentication offers good protection.
4. Use Password Managers
People, in general, are bad at remembering complex strings of text. If you’ve forgotten your password, you know first-hand how annoying and frustrating this is. This leads people to use weak, easily decipherable credentials and fall for social engineering schemes.
If you use a password manager, you’ll never have to worry about this again. These applications generate random, hard-to-crack combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Many also take advantage of two-factor authentication. This makes them very secure and one of the safest ways to carry your login information on a device. Since other files may carry viruses, it will help keep everything safe.
Letting the app manage your login info reduces the possibility of making mistakes. You’ll only have to enter a master passcode to access the app. This adds a layer of protection, since you only have to remember one code for all sorts of purposes.
Certain products also have other features that can protect other accounts. For example, some premium versions of these programs can store your credit card information. This can help you avoid typing it in and risk falling into the wrong hands.
5. Don’t Sync Your Devices In Public
A common trick for devious individuals is using public Wi-Fi inside coffee shops, libraries, and hotels to attack their victims. Unlike your home router, their Internet Access Points haven’t been secured with strict security measures. They’re open to people with any form of technical knowledge.
Rogue users can set up fake access points and “listen” for sensitive information. A hacker can set up a rogue access point and record all activity. Anyone syncing their machine can be recording your vital account info. They can even trace the information back to your system and steal it.
It’s very easy for someone to capture your keystrokes. They may even see what you’re working on if they’re logged into the same local network. You should use your cellular network or a VPN to prevent this from happening.
To stay safe, you should only connect to known networks. With public connections, a would-be hacker can hijack a website and make it functional for him. Because web browsers store cookies on the local computer, a remote attacker can easily access the user’s account.
Many antivirus software programs have features designed to detect such attacks. However, avoiding them altogether is the best way to evade these attacks.
The Bottom Line
As the nature of work and technology evolves, many businesses have embraced telecommuting and remote workers. Many of these jobs involve access to sensitive and confidential assets and documents. Educating them about this common cybercrime is an excellent way to secure your workforce. Follow these tips, and your devices should have complete cyber protection.