COVID-19 cyber security tips
The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed our daily routines, adapted the way we work, and increased our reliance on technology. Many of us have been working remotely, relying on IT and cloud solutions to stay connected. As we spend more time online, we must remember that staying safe and secure is still the most important thing. Most are familiar with the basic guidelines to provide a foundation for digital security, but as we think about this remote and digital era, extra steps may be necessary to further reduce risk. Here are a few COVID-19 cyber security tips we recommend you adopt.
Automatic security updates, antivirus, and firewalls
The reality of cyberthreats is that they often prey upon the most vulnerable devices. Those without a firewall, an antivirus service, or the latest security updates. Turn on automatic updates to ensure your devices have the latest security fixes, enable or install an antivirus solution that runs continuously, and configure a firewall. Modern computers have many of these features enabled by default, however it is always a good idea to check.
Remembering Networking devices
Device safety includes your networking devices, too. Make sure you verify and apply all updates available. Also, make sure to check that your networking devices are not using default admin passwords. It’s also good hygiene to update your WiFi credentials to strong passwords – uppercase, lowercase, symbols and numbers.
Protecting your digital identity
With more of our lives connected in the virtual realm, protecting your digital identity is even more important. Use strong passwords or biometric authentication like your face or fingerprint and, if possible, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). Microsoft offers free MFA applications that are easy to set up and use.
Background blur or images
A popular feature on video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams is the ability to blur or change your background. This can be an important privacy step that you can take to instil distinction between home and work environments.
Use the right file-sharing service for the right task
Keeping your business data separate from your personal data is vital. You should use business resources, like SharePoint or OneDrive for Business, to store and share content for work. Consider enabling Windows Information Protection to reduce the risk of unintentional (and intentional) enterprise data leakage.
Device encryption ensures that data on your device is safe from unauthorised access should your device be stolen or lost. Cyber criminals are exploiting victims more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic and are continually utilising new lures. Moving into this “new normal” of more virtual engagement, the same vigilance you kept at the office applies at home. Here are a few attack methods to be aware of in order to stay secure:
Identity compromise is the number one entry point
Attackers want to steal your digital identity for monetisation, spam, and access. Be wary of unexpected websites and applications that require your credentials. The same goes for MFA requests: If you did not initiate the authentication request, do not verify it. You should report suspected sites and uninitiated requests through your browser or applications.
Phishing is still a real threat
Be wary of offers that are too good to be true. These are the same cyber criminals as pre-pandemic, but now they’re using the outbreak and public fear to drive their activity. For more information on phishing attacks and how to handle them, please be in touch.
Avoid falling victim to tech support scams
Tech support scams are an industry-wide issue; scammers use scare tactics to try and trick you into paying for unnecessary services that supposedly fix a device, operating system, or software problem. No software provider will ever contact you with an unsolicited offer to address a technical issue. With awareness and these above tips, you can better prepare yourself and your business for this new world of secure remote working and social interaction. Get in touch with us today to talk about how we implement our COVID-19 cyber security tips giving your business peace of mind.