In recent years, remote working has become a popular option for small businesses looking to reduce costs, increase productivity, and provide flexibility for their employees. However, with the rise of remote work comes an increased risk of cyber attacks.
Cyber criminals are constantly looking for new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems, and remote workers can be particularly vulnerable if they are not properly protected. To help small businesses protect their sensitive information, here is a guide on how to prevent cyber attacks when remote working:
Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) is a secure, encrypted connection between a remote worker and their company’s network. By using a VPN, all data that is transmitted between the remote worker and the company’s network is encrypted, making it much more difficult for cyber criminals to intercept and steal. There are many VPN services available, so do your research and choose one that is reputable and reliable.
Use strong passwords
Weak passwords are one of the most common ways that cyber criminals gain access to computer systems. Remote workers should use strong, unique passwords for all of their accounts, and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Passwords should be at least 12 characters long and should include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Employees are urged not to use personal details.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to online accounts by requiring the user to provide two forms of identification to access the account. This can include something the user knows (like a password) and something the user has (like a security token or fingerprint). Two-factor authentication is an effective way to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive information.
Keep software up-to-date
Software updates often include security patches that address known vulnerabilities. Remote workers should make sure that all of their software, including operating systems, web browsers, and applications, is up-to-date and patched regularly.
Be cautious of phishing attacks
Phishing attacks are a common way that cyber criminals try to steal sensitive information. Remote workers should be cautious of unsolicited emails, especially those that ask for personal or financial information.
If an email seems suspicious, it is better to err on the side of caution and delete it. Fortunately, there are email verification tools available that can help identify and flag potentially dangerous emails before they make it to your inbox, offering an added layer of protection against phishing attacks.
Use anti-virus software
Anti-virus software can help detect and remove malicious software that may be installed on a computer. Remote workers should use anti-virus software that is updated regularly and configured to run daily scans.
Limit access to sensitive information
Remote workers should only have access to the information that they need to do their jobs. Limiting access to sensitive information can help prevent cyber criminals from accessing that information if a remote worker’s account is compromised.
Avoid open Wi-FI spots
Open Wi-Fi spots are generally unsecured, which means that the data transmitted over these networks is not encrypted. This makes it easier for hackers to intercept your data and steal sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
By following these tips, small businesses can help protect their sensitive information and prevent cyber attacks when remote working. While no system is foolproof, taking these steps can help minimize the risk of a cyber attack and keep your business running smoothly.