As our definition of office has evolved, so have some of our remote work habits. While many of us have settled into a new routine or home office at least part time, the need for cybersecurity remains unchanged. According to a 2021 Gallup survey, 45% of employees were doing at least some work from home, and over 90% plan to continue doing so.
Working from a location outside the office presents additional cybersecurity challenges, making it even more critical to put systems and practices in place to keep personal and company information safe and secure.
Use secure internet/Wi-Fi network – It is best to have a separate network for work purposes if possible. If a separate network is impractical, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) connection. Companies should have formal practices and security measures for company-issued devices that are allowed to connect to the network. Also, do not use public Wi-Fi networks that anyone can access.
Secure your devices – While this may seem unimportant if you are working from home, it is still important to keep your work devices secure. This includes locking your device when you step away, not accessing personal accounts or sources from your work computer, and not connecting to a personal printer since many printers are network enabled. A virus infecting a work device could spread throughout the company's system, even if that device is being used at home.
Keep applications up to date – Typically in a corporate setting, an IT support team controls what is installed on company devices and keeps those applications current. However, security is not a one-team job, and vigilance is an important part of cyber defense. Notify your support team if any unfamiliar applications unexpectedly appear on your device. While it may be legitimate, it’s best to confirm. Also, do not install or uninstall any software without IT approval. If your IT department asks you to make a system update, be sure to do so promptly, as updates are often in response to security loopholes.
Be cybersecurity aware – Vigilance is an essential part of cybersecurity. Don’t forget about basic practices like not clicking links or opening unexpected attachments. We’ve covered many of these tips and tricks in other columns. Stay alert! It’s better to be suspicious and confirm emails and attachments are legitimate than to let your guard down and suffer an attack.
When working from home, keeping these security practices in mind every time you connect to the internet is a great way to stay cyber safe. Acuity also offers cyber coverages in both commercial and personal lines to further support our customers and their needs. Visit acuity.com to learn more!