Endpoint Security in the Age of COVID-19
In the office, you’ve been told to remain vigilant. Use strong passwords with password managers, don’t click links in emails, and don’t fall for phishing scams. Since a majority of the workforce is working remotely, now what? Well, nothing changes, you must remain vigilant more than ever. As the quote goes, “never let a crisis go to waste!” Since malicious actors are more active than ever to capitalize on your fear and uncertainty, here are some healthy security habits you can develop on your commute to your home office each day.
1) Patch, Patch, Patch!
Patching remains one of the most important practices for not just the IT department inside an organization but for your home computers as well. Bad actors are constantly exploiting the operating systems we use every day, so the best defense against these gaps in security is to update often.
For guidance on patching your home network, check out this article from Yale University.
2) Presence on Social Media
Being home is bound to increase the frequency of time spent on social media (Did you see your latest screen time report from your mobile device?). We want to know the current news, the current case count, or whatever the latest update may be. Taking a break to refresh our thoughts and mindset is great, but it provides that space where you may be vulnerable.
Recommendations for social media use during this time:
- Utilize the same mindset with emails as you would with any posts, messages, or shares that you may receive. You may “lower your defenses” when it comes to social media (you are friends with everyone on social media after all, right?).
- Go with your gut feeling when it comes to interactions with other users; Does it seem okay to open? Should I call or text that user to verify that they sent it?
- Do your homework when it comes to reading articles and checking other websites, as there are constant fake websites being put up to lure users to click links and images.
For guidance on social media, check out this blog from The SANS Institute.
3) Personal and work devices
Working from home you may be tempted to blur the lines of leveraging personal and work tasks into one machine. I mean who wants to constantly switch back and forth? While this may not be an option for some because of resource limitations, this does create a potential security risk.
Questions to consider:
- Did you have to install software on that machine?
- What if that software has severe exploits that can cause attackers to access confidential information?
- What if your personal machine is already compromised? Conducting work tasks on that machine may have compromised proprietary company data.
There are many factors to consider, but to help minimizes risks, separate work tasks from personal everyday tasks on separate devices where possible.
For additional guidance on separating work and personal tasks, check out the article from Heimdal Security.
4) Practicing Consistent Cybersecurity Hygiene at Home
Work-from-home creates decentralized environments that make security even more critical for business continuity and user efficiency. In this day and age, you must always keep cybersecurity awareness everywhere you go. So, as we go through these crazy times, as you sit at home, remember that even though the office environment has changed, the constant cybersecurity threats have not.
Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for the latest updates and resources for you and your business.
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