Work From Home: Tackling Cybersecurity issues in the "New Normal"

Work From Home: Tackling Cybersecurity issues in the "New Normal"

From a facility being provided by certain companies because of specific cases and reasons, to the mainstream acceptance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the culture of “Work from Home” has seen a dramatic turnaround as a norm rather than exception in last 2 years. While this was the way companies could have gotten the things going on for their business, this also came as a new experience for employees, where they were missing their office environment and their colleagues but were sitting safe in their comfort zones of their homes with their families while still being the breadwinner. While the HR professionals were divided if this will increase the productivity of the employees or not, the IT professionals who were handling the security of the company servers and database knew that their task was way more complex now.

While the usual office spaces have their proper security, both physical and digital, in place to prevent any leakage of strategical and critical info from the locations, right from the security guard at the door to the advanced firewall and anti-malware software in the servers, the homes of the employees lacked this arrangement. The company laptops, though encrypted with the in-built protection measures, were under a new threat of possible complications that can arise from compromised wi-fi connections, new openings for malware and spyware with workspace firewall no more available there as well as the physical damages that can occur from kids at home.

Broadly speaking, the cybersecurity threats making the systems more vulnerable in the new remote working scenario can be assessed and tackled as follows:

  1. Use of Well protected Cloud Storage: All the employees must be required to back up their important data into a centralized location, probably on cloud, that is well protected with an efficient firewall to prevent any losses to the company that can occur because of the attack on isolated attacks on local devices.

  2. Shielding your Wi-Fi connections: Use of strong and difficult to guess passwords, limiting the visibility and accessibility to your home Wi-Fi router are little but smarter steps from shielding unauthorised connections.

  3. Use of proper video conferencing software: Use of premium software tools for video conferencing, with better encryption and private channels for getting the job done will be better than medium where meeting links can easily be shared and compromised.

4)Be on alert against phishing mails and other intrusions: The lack of office space firewall means the expansion of vulnerable space for further attacks via phishing mails. Employees should be properly trained to detect the mails by verifying the sources of untrustworthy mails without clicking on them.

  1. Use of a strong Anti-Virus software and VPN: The employees should be aided with the modern updates of antivirus, that are able to defend the systems against the most modern threats out there. The employees should also be encouraged to follow proper VPN protocols while logging into their office systems and laptops.

6)Locking away your devices away from family: It is important that in these times when the homes have been turned into workspaces, the employees respect the sanctity of separate entities of home and office in the way they would have done during normal times. The importance of work devices should be made clear to your dear ones and their place and safety should be sacrosanct and out of bounds for everyone except the employees themselves.