Working from home? Here are the steps all workers and companies should take to avoid cyberattacks, according to experts
Crystal Cox/Business Insider; Samantha Lee/Business Insider
- As more offices direct employees to work from home amid the COVID-19 outbreak, companies are increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
- The increase in web apps used by companies for online work and virtual meetings will inflate hackers' potential targets.
- Cybersecurity experts told Business Insider about steps that businesses and workers can take to make sure they're working from home securely.
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For workers being instructed to work from home amid the COVID-19 outbreak, doing jobs remotely can be a major adjustment. For hackers, it can be an opportunity.
Remote work means a rise in the number of devices employees are using for their jobs, and an increase in the use of online conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and Slack. That shift also give hackers a larger number of potential targets.
Cybersecurity research firms are predicting a spike in hacks and breaches targeting businesses as the COVID-19 outbreak continues, Business Insider's Jeff Elder reported last week. The Department of Homeland Security has also advised businesses to prepare for new cybersecurity threats arising from work-from-home arrangements.
Business Insider asked cybersecurity experts about measures workers and companies can take to significantly reduce their vulnerability while working from home. Here's what they recommend.
Companies should make sure their workers are up to speed on basic security hygiene, including strong passwords and multifactor authentication.
Workers should be especially wary of suspicious emails and avoid clicking on links that are new or unfamiliar to them.
As a general rule, never share personal or financial information via email or message.
Before circulating or acting on news about COVID-19 and its impact on your business, verify that it's coming from a trusted source.
Businesses should explore rolling out VPN services, and make sure their VPNs are patched and up-to-date.
Companies should also consider using encrypted messaging services for work communication.
Experts say it's crucial that companies formulate a recovery plan in case they're hit with a breach stemming from work-from-home conditions.
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