Cybersecurity Best Practices for Remote Workers

Feb 19, 2024 | Uncategorized

According to a 2023 article published in Forbes, more than 40% of U.S. workers work either fully remote or in a hybrid model.   From a cybersecurity standpoint, what do organizations need to consider about their remote workforce? (Note: many of the following suggestions are good practices for in-office as well remote.)

 

Cybersecurity Best Practices List:

 

  1. Secure Network Connections: Use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to encrypt internet traffic and establish a secure connection to your organization’s network. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive work-related activities whenever possible, as they are more susceptible to interception and malicious activity.
  2. Reset the Default Password for Your Router: Routers come with a standard, default password that can be easily hacked.  Reset the default password and follow best practices for strong password hygiene (see #5).
  3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Enable MFA wherever feasible to add an extra layer of security beyond passwords. This typically involves verifying your identity through a combination of factors such as passwords, biometric data (fingerprints or face scanning), authenticators, or one-time codes sent to your mobile device.
  4. Keep Software and Operating Systems Updated: Regularly update all software, including operating systems, antivirus programs, and applications, to patch vulnerabilities and defend against emerging threats. Enable automatic updates whenever possible to ensure timely protection.
  5. Strong Password Hygiene: Create complex passwords or, better yet, passphrases that are unique to each account and change them periodically. Use unique passwords for each account and consider using a reputable password manager to securely store and manage passwords across various accounts. Never use personal information to create passwords (pet’s name, birthdays, etc.).
  6. Awareness and Training: Stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and techniques through ongoing training and awareness programs provided by your organization. Be vigilant against phishing emails, suspicious links, and unsolicited attachments, and report any potential security incidents promptly. Remember: the bad guys never sleep, so your training needs to be current in order to keep up.
  7. Data Encryption: Encrypt sensitive data both in transit and at rest to prevent unauthorized access in the event of a security breach. This can be achieved through encryption tools provided by your organization or by utilizing secure file-sharing platforms.
  8. Regular Backups: Routinely back up essential data to secure cloud storage or external hard drives to mitigate the impact of data loss due to ransomware attacks, hardware failures, or other unforeseen circumstances.
  9. Secure Device Usage: Implement device encryption and enable screen locks with strong authentication mechanisms to protect against unauthorized access to your devices. Also, keep devices locked when not in use, even if just momentarily. Avoid using personal devices for work-related tasks whenever possible and adhere to your organization’s device usage policies.
  10. Secure Communication Channels: Utilize secure communication channels, such as encrypted email services and messaging platforms, for sharing sensitive information or conducting confidential discussions.
  11. Remote Work Environment: Maintain a secure and dedicated workspace free from distractions to minimize the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information during remote work sessions.

By adhering to these cybersecurity best practices, remote workers play a vital role in safeguarding their own digital assets and contribute to the overall security posture of their organizations. In an ever-evolving threat landscape, proactive measures and vigilance are key to staying one step ahead of the cyber bad guys.

If we can help you implement any of the above cybersecurity best practices, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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