Cybersecurity in the Age of the Coronavirus
Due to the sudden demand of governments around the globe for businesses to cease in-person operations and to work from home for the purposes of social distancing, the need for enhanced cybersecurity practices to protect your enterprise is greater than ever. Scam artists are unfortunately much more active during a time of crisis and will seek to prey on and take advantage of anyone they might consider vulnerable at this time.
In order to protect your balance sheet and give your business its best chance of riding out the wave of this pandemic, it is imperative that you implement a variety of cybersecurity practices and require all of your employees to do so as well. If an employee has the misfortune of happening to click on the wrong link while he or she is connected to your business network, those scam artists or hackers could do untold damage, such as stealing the information of your customers or downloading sensitive information or privileged work product. That is definitely not something your business needs to go through in these already trying times. Read further for tips on how to secure the online infrastructure of your business and to keep yourself and your employees informed of cybersecurity best practices. Put the following into practice for yourself and make sure that all of your employees do the same. You don’t want your company network to be brought down by one unsuspecting employee.
Do not Click on Any Suspicious Links
You should advise your employees never to click on any suspicious links. Scam artists may send you or your employees a text or an email that is supposedly from a legitimate company, such as a bank. Instead of clicking on the link, type in the actual URL of the bank.
Hackers will try to take advantage of the rampant frustration, anxiety, and financial concerns that you and your employees may have in order to entice someone to click on such a link. Don’t fall for it.
Also, advise your employees not to click on any suspicious links that come through online messaging apps, chats, or videoconferencing chats, especially if the message comes from a person who is not in their contacts. And even if the person is in their contacts, your employees should know that if the link looks suspicious, it may be because the person in their contacts has himself been hacked.
Check the Credibility of Applications Before Downloading
Verifying the authenticity and origin of an application should always be the case, but especially during this pandemic, advise your employees not to download random coronavirus trackers. No matter how much they wish to stay informed about the spread of the coronavirus, they should not download just any “coronavirus tracking” application. Let your employees know that if they wish to stay informed, they should download software only from a reputable, trusted, credible source. Hackers know that people want to keep track of coronavirus updates and take advantage of that fact. Software of an unknown origin downloaded onto one of your employees’ computers might contain a trojan horse or other malware, which may provide the hacker with a backdoor into your company’s online infrastructure.
Use a VPN
Advise your employees to use a virtual private network (VPN) to connect to their work environment; this ensures a safe, secure, and encrypted connection to the work environment.
Update Security Software and Credentials
Have your employees update their Wi-Fi passwords to something that is difficult to crack. Advise them not to use their home address as their Wi-Fi network name. Make sure that everyone conducts regular updates of security software.
Beware of Malware for Online-Sharing Tech
Due to their increased use in this time, online-shared tech such as Office 365, Word, Excel, and Dropbox is being targeted by malware designers. Solve this by having your employees attach strong passwords to the documents they share.
Stay Connected to Your IT Department
Now more than ever, you and your employees must become best friends with your IT department, relying on IT to help you secure your network and protect your business. Have your IT department perform regular checks of your employees’ computers, network, and work environment to help your business survive this difficult time.