The COVID-19 pandemic has led the globe to the lockdown state and till now, social distancing is the only way to break this transmission chain of coronavirus. And with the same concern, employers are asking their staff to work remotely (Right, Work From Home!) to keep their workflow continue. However, working from home can help to reduce the transmission of the virus among people but… it can open the doors for cybercrimes to enter and attack as well. Yes, it’s quite a challenging job to maintain the security of your system or data or any other valuable asset of the organization when you work remotely.
When you work in the office environment, you have various security measures and safeguards managed by the organization against cyberattacks or any other malicious activities but the situation doesn’t remain the same in the work from home scenario. Also, not every organization is prepared for the remote working process which leads to making them compensate for the security measures due to sudden workflow changes. Now, before moving further to analyze security aspects during Work From Home, let’s take a look at several benefits of working remotely.
- The major benefit of working remotely can be seen in this COVID-19 outbreak as how it helps in reducing the spread of the virus without restricting the organization’s functioning.
- As per the research, it has observed that working from home increases the efficiency and productivity rate of the employees.
- Also, working remotely can reduce the overhead costs of the organization.
Now, let’s get back to the point, How to maintain the security during Work From Home? These are several approaches that you must need to follow to maintain security when you’re working remotely. Some of these major approaches & strategies are mentioned below:
1. Use the Secure Network
Yes, this is the first and most important thing you have to keep into consideration while setting up your work from home system. The best practice is to use the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service for encrypting the data transfer. When you are connected through a Virtual Private Network, it puts restrictions for the outsiders to get into the created network zone and access the data. Also, in case of unavailability of a VPN, use the personal Wi-Fi or home network instead of using any public network and make it secure with a strong password. You are advised to change the password of your network devices regularly. You can enable firewalls on your system to prevent the external cyberattacks or other malicious activities.
2. Don’t Install Irrelevant Software
Although during work from home, your home is now an explication of your office still you need to maintain a boundary line between work life and personal life (and between devices too!). Your office resources (laptop, storage devices, software, etc.) should be used for business purposes only instead of using them for any personal tasks such as accessing personal social media accounts or surfing any movie downloading sites, etc. It will not only affect your workflow and productivity but can also invite cyberattacks and other security threats. Also, you are advised to not install any irrelevant software or not visit any spammy websites from work systems. You must use only those resources (or software) that are supported by your organization and fall under the company’s security policy.
3. Regularly Backup Your Data
Data can be the most important asset for any company hence, you can’t afford it to compromise with its security anyhow. And, the best way to secure your data is to have the regular backup of the same. Data Backup can be understood as the process of putting your data in a secured cell and accessing the same in case of any urgency. You can backup your data through various hardware storage devices and also nowadays there are many Cloud Backup services (iDrive, Zoolz, etc.) available to store your data in an online and centralized manner. In case if you’ve lost or damaged your actual data, you can easily access the backup data within a few seconds from any geographical location.
4. Maintain Physical Security as well!
However, it is such a basic thing but also it is one of the most ignored security aspects during the Work From Home process. Let’s assume a situation where you just left your laptop unlocked on the table and children in your home use it as their new toy. (Quite scary?) There can be thousands of cases like this during working from home. Hence, while working remotely, you must ensure that your system is password protected and secure. When you need to go for a break or any other reasons, lock your system screen and take care of other devices or resources as well. Also, you need to manage the login credentials or other sensitive data properly and do not leave such information written on any paper or notepad as a little carelessness with the same can cost you and your organization a lot.
5. Be Cautious of E-mail Phishing
It is last but not the least important! E-mail Phishing has always been the most popular cyberattack among the hackers and when it comes to Work From Home scenario it becomes more vulnerable as during remote working most of the communication is done through e-mails and texts. However, you can prevent yourself from this by being a little cautious. You are advised to not share any personal information such as passwords, bank details, etc. via emails even if you recognize the sender. Also, before visiting any link, first hover over it to see the URL and try to avoid opening any unwanted or irrelevant attachments. You need to take your time to confirm the authenticity of the email before further operations as just one click on a spammy email can be proved unfortunate to you and your company.
So, these are some major tips following which you can make the work from the home process more secure and reliable. You need to be more careful to maintain the security of the organization’s data and other resources when you’re working remotely. Also, if you look out for the security measures efficiently, working from home can be proved as a better thing for your company (And, for you as well!)