Staying Cyber-Safe While Working From Home

06 April 2020

How to digitally protect yourself and your business while staying safe from COVID-19.

With much of the world’s workforce taking up ‘social distancing’ and working from home, it’s important to keep an eye on your cyber security as well as your health. There’s a wealth of advice out there on working effectively while away from the office, but little on how to stay cyber safe.

We are living through unprecedented times, and businesses are having to adapt to new ways of working very quickly; it’s only natural that cracks in our working practices will occur. Unfortunately, it is into these gaps that digital ‘ne'er do wells’ like to wriggle.

Hackers and scammers are no less active under the global lockdown than they were a few months ago. With swathes of the workforce switching to full time remote working, some of whom having never experienced it before, it’s important to be vigilant with your online security. Indeed, with computer protection in the home being traditionally weaker than in the workplace, here are some pointers to keep you, and your workforce, safe.

Four-and-a-bit Cyber Security Tips for Remote Working

1. Make sure you and your team know how to report any IT problems, especially security ones. If in doubt, check – and write down the phone number or email of your IT Security team somewhere safe.

2. Are you using personal devices for work? If so, talk to your security team about multi-factor authentication, such as requiring a passcode from your mobile when logging into a laptop.

3. We all know we should but keeping software and firmware up to date on the devices you use is vital, It ensures you have the manufacturer’s latest and best security protections installed. If you’re not sure how – ask.

4. Stay vigilant for phishing approaches –

- Is the email, phone call, text, social media message addressed to you by name, or does it just say “Hi”? This is often a sign that the sender does not actually know who you are, and that it is part of a phishing scam.

- Does the message ask you to act urgently? Be very suspicious of words like 'within 24 hours' or 'click here immediately'.

- Look carefully at the sender's name. Is it legitimate or is it just very close to someone you know? Be extra careful viewing on a phone or tablet, as an added hyphen can be very hard to spot on a small screen.

- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of fake news.

- Official sources such as your bank, should never ask you to supply personal information from an email.

Check in with HQ

Now is a good time to check your company’s intranet (or similar) to see what your company’s advice is on cyber security when working remotely. If your employer or business doesn’t have such a resource, follow our guidance above and refer to trusted online sources for cyber security advice, such as the UK’s NCSC. Stay home, stay safe and stay vigilant, and know that we’re here for you if you need us.

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About the Author

Peter Yapp

Partner

Peter started his career in investigation and has been a leader in the field of computer forensics for nearly three decades

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