Nearly every business that has undergone digital transformation essentially has an expanded attack surface that puts them at a great risk of cyber-attacks. Lately, remote work has become a new norm for most industries, and this opens up opportunities for cyber-attacks. Hence, it’s extremely important to take all necessary and sufficient precautions to prevent cyber-attack while working remotely.
The bad news is that the average home office environment has several cybersecurity concerns. For example, many employees do not have adequate cybersecurity protections in their home offices and may fail to protect their personal devices. Every time they connect with an unsafe device, they introduce the same vulnerabilities into their company network.
How to Protect the Home Office Space from Cyber Attacks
So what steps can we take to protect the remote working environment from cyber-attacks? Let’s take a look at the following key preventive measures.
Perform an External Vulnerability Scan
An external vulnerability scan is conducted outside of the network that you are testing. These scans will identify all your prominent security risks after crawling through an internet-facing IP address. The scans look for weaknesses in perimeter defenses such as websites, web applications, and network firewalls.
After the scan is complete, your IT partner will email you a link to look at the results and explore any existing and potential risks that have been spotted.
Note that external vulnerability scans are extremely important if you want to comply with PCI DSS frameworks. According to the PCI DSS, merchants who process, store, or transmit financial information should secure their data using external vulnerability scanning. Noncompliance can result in huge fines and penalties for businesses, including no longer being able to process credit cards.
Utilize Multi-Factor Authentication
Chances are, your password may be compromised. You can check haveibeenpwned.com to see if your data has been a part of recent data breaches. This is where multi-factor authentication comes in. MFA reduces the utility of stolen passwords for hackers. MFA utilizes several factors to authenticate accounts.
For example, MFA would send a verification email and/or a text message with a code to log into your account. Hackers would need access to both your phone and email address to bypass MFA. This additional layer of authentication protects your accounts.
Use Endpoint Detection Response Systems
Consumer-grade antivirus solutions may be effective at protecting your personal data, but when it comes to protecting your company’s information, you will need a more robust solution. If you are working from home, consider implementing endpoint detection response software to ensure that the device is protected.
EDR tools detect and investigate threats on endpoints. They also have response capabilities that other security tools may be lacking. EDR tools enable comprehensive endpoint security management strategies instead of utilizing an ad hoc approach to intrusion detection.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) establishes a secure and encrypted connection between you and the outside world. The VPN routes all your data traffic through an encrypted virtual tunnel that disguises your IP address when using the internet, making its location invisible to everyone. This makes the connection secure against external threats.
The encryption component of VPNs keeps you safe from eavesdropping and reduces the risk of getting infected with malware. It is worth noting that VPNs will not keep you safe if you visit phishing websites or download infected code from emails. You still need to implement best practices for using the internet.
It’s worthy to know that a VPN does not protect you from ransomware, computer viruses, and malware. That’s where your antivirus software plays a vital role in protecting your devices and data.
Use an AI Powered Antivirus Software
Speaking of which, antivirus software is an essential safety tool that all employees should install on their devices. Antivirus products work by detecting and detecting malicious code that could cause damage to your device. It is essential for antivirus products to be updated regularly and automatically in order to provide protection against the latest viruses and malware.
Modern antivirus software now uses machine learning to detect new threats without relying on signatures. This allows the products to crawl through vast amounts of data to create threat models and predicts possible attacks. Another advantage of using AI-enabled antivirus is their ability to work round the clock.
Keep Your Software Up to Date
Keeping your devices and software up to date is an important element of digital safety and cybersecurity. It is recommended to enable automatic updates so that you are safe from security flaws, backdoor hacks, and exploits. The only way to keep you protected from the latest security vulnerabilities is by staying current with the latest software updates.
Most employees use Windows operating systems. You should note that Microsoft is planning to end support for Windows 7 and 8 systems shortly. Users who still have these systems will no longer receive critical security updates and patches once the support period expires. This could leave them vulnerable to hackers. Consider switching to an operating system that receives support from its developer. Windows 10 and 11 still receive updates from Microsoft, making them useful for home offices.
Don’t Connect to Public Wi-Fi Networks
Here’s why you should never connect to unsecured Public Wi-Fi networks: if you log into an unencrypted site, other users on the network can eavesdrop on what you receive and send. They could also hijack your log in sessions. But if you must use public Wi-Fi, if a trustworthy internet connection isn’t available, you should use an approved VPN.
Secure Mobile and IoT Devices
It is highly recommended to partner with a reputed cyber security vendor like Microsys Inc to implement encryption and firewalls for your IT infrastructure, including the devices that connect to it, such as mobile phones and IoT devices.
You should also secure remote collaboration tools when securing the home office environment. Remote collaboration tools must be secure and remote rockers should only use tools that are approved by the company. A small compromise in this area could lead to a data breach that could impact your entire IT infrastructure.
Develop a Robust Cyber Breach Response Plan
You will need to partner with a cybersecurity vendor who can test your cybersecurity posture. They will test your backup and recovery systems so they won’t fail when you need them the most (such as during a cybersecurity incident).
A managed cybersecurity services vendor will protect your endpoints and use tools that can keep cybercriminals at bay. They can also increase cybersecurity awareness among your employees so they can get up to speed on the industry leading best practices for defending home offices from hackers.
Ready to partner with a trusted cyber security vendor with a proven track record to protect your organization from all threats?
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can strengthen your cybersecurity posture while minimizing the burden on your IT team.