Homeworking: how safe is my company from a cyber attack?

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With so many businesses being rapidly forced to shift to company-wide homeworking due the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s no wonder that cyber security is receiving greater focus. 

Company environments are being opened and extended to facilitate mass homeworking, an increasing number of personal devices are being used and current IT policies may no longer be fully relevant. This is coupled with a rise in attempted cyber attacks, as criminals try to capitalise on the widespread chaos and uncertainty caused by Covid-19. 

Stewart Houston, Technical Operations Manager here at IT Hotdesk, has shared a few quick wins companies can implement to protect themselves from attacks, and provides advice on how you can maximise and manage your cyber security. 

Top tips for quickly improving cyber security

  • Multi-factor authentication

“One of the quickest options to increase your cyber security is through the introduction of multi-factor authentication on all devices. This means accompanying your password with a secondary layer of evidence, proving it is definitely you logging in – for example, a code being sent to your mobile device. 

“Hackers can, unfortunately, utilise simple tools to eventually crack single passwords, but, if you have implemented this simple security measure and are targeted, they will not be able to gain access.” 

  • Security patches

“Ensure that regular software updates are being applied on all devices, as these will include vital security patches and updates to protect you. For example, Windows 10 regularly releases new updates to patch vulnerabilities, bugs or weaknesses that could be exploited by hackers. By applying regular updates to address identified vulnerabilities, you are closing those doors and are reducing your risk.” 

  • Control access to company systems

“Establishing a virtual private network (VPN) allows your remote team to securely access internal company files and other corporate systems. It is essentially an encrypted tunnel between your staff and your business network, through which all your company traffic flows while it is travelling through the Internet –  ensuring your data is secure from review by any external parties.

“If you already have a client VPN service, ensure the external devices are all fully patched and monitor bandwidth is adequate for the increased community of remote users utilising the service.”

 

Identify and manage your risk

“The most important steps you can take are to initially identify your company’s risks, its vulnerabilities, weaknesses and establish a management plan.

“This involves reviewing your business operation and generating a profile of risks within your business environment. With this visibility, you can then determine how each risk should be addressed and monitor your progress to becoming more secure.

“Once your risk profile or matrix has been identified, we recommend following a simple 3-step process:

  1. Monitor: regularly run reports to track progress and identify new threats
  2. Implement: action remedial work to mitigate against threats
  3. Optimise: continuously make improvements to enhance security.”

If you have any questions or concerns around your company’s cyber security, or would like to learn more about how you can make improvements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the IT Hotdesk team by filling in the form below.

Alternatively, find out how you could strengthen and enhance your business with a safe, simple and robust IT strategy by clicking here.

 

 

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