October is Cybersecurity month, and 2020 is an especially important year to talk about the safety and security of your data, devices and users. The pandemic has substantially increased our ‘online time’, and more people are working from home, their children are being taught virtually from home, and families are gathering over video calls and playing online games to stay entertained.
Our devices are always on – and in any number of apps – making us more virtually connected than ever before. Frightening, to say the least, for your IT team but an adjustment for everyone, overall. Organizations are learning as they go. For many businesses, the rules have expanded from the four walls of the office to the walls of each and every employee working from home. Although this shift can make us more vulnerable, there are ways to stay protected. Here are a few best practice tips you may want to explore:
Deploy an End-to-End Security Solution
Protecting the device is one thing but protecting below the operating system (OS) is key as well. The PC-BIOS, the core system that controls critical functions, has been a prime target for hackers. This is not a new strategy; nearly two-thirds of companies have been compromised by data breaches over the last 12 months due to vulnerability in hardware or firmware level security.
Keep an Eye on that Tablet
Physical security should not play second fiddle to your network or system of your device. Knowing where all your devices are helps reduce the chance of them getting into the wrong hands. Luckily, most people aren’t going far (if they’re going anywhere at all), but shared devices are crossing many hands. Keep tabs on personal and work-related devices and educate family members when it comes to downloading files and apps.
Although electronic communication is the standard norm, the at-home workforce may be printing company-confidential material that can easily get tossed in the trash and end up in the wrong hands. Dispose of these items properly – and be mindful when working in public spaces like coffee shops and shared workstations designed for remote workers.
Increase Sign-On Security
The sophistication of today’s cyber criminals make it necessary to implement more than standalone passwords. Multi-factor authentication and digital certificates provide additional security measures by adding layers of protection. The more layers (factors), the less likely a hacker will be able to gain access to critical systems throughout your network.
Train your Team
Half the battle is educating users on the risks of a cyberattack. Following company security policies, understanding the risks, and being able to identify suspicious links, files and intruders can minimize vulnerabilities right off the bat. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are constantly evolving and finding more sophisticated ways to bypass security measures, so it’s impossible to cover all the bases. However, implementing solutions that can secure employee networks when they are working from home, along with regular training on how to avoid being a victim, can go a long way to keeping your data safe.
Choose the Security Solution that Best Meets Your Needs
It can be a daunting task to understand everything you need to keep your network and information secure. And it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The benefits of partnering with a professional can mean the difference between paying far too much for tools you don’t need and getting most of your top requirements met in a few small packages.
However you choose to protect your business, creating a security plan, executing a strategy across the board, and implementing tools that are intuitive and easily integrated into your existing system is a smart and safe place to start.
Contact us today for more tips and ideas for a strategy that works for your business.