With millions of professionals now working from home for the first time in their careers, it’s important that we have frank discussions on the topic of cybersecurity and the many threats that exist. And even though you might think you’re too small or insignificant to be a target, you would be naive to assume you’re in the clear. Smart cybersecurity strategies can prevent you from being the weak link in your business.
6 Cybersecurity Tips You Can Use Right Away
You don’t need some sophisticated IT environment, but you do need to be in-tune with the threats you face and respond with a strategically optimized plan that reduces risk and keeps you protected. Here are a few suggestions:
- Prioritize Physical Security
While the focus here is on cybersecurity, don’t neglect physical security. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can ignore simple protocols like locking your office door and keeping your devices with you at all times (when working remotely in a coffee shop).
While not as common as other forms of hacking, physical devices do get stolen and compromised that way. Be conscientious about your belongings!
- Invest in the Right Antivirus Solutions
While it won’t make you invincible, you can dramatically lower your risk profile by installing an appropriate antivirus solution.
A properly implemented antivirus software program will protect your devices against malware, viruses, spyware, phishing scams, zero-day attacks. The best part about these programs is that they automatically update to account for the latest emerging trends in the cyber landscape. This makes things significantly easier on you.
- Invest in Segmentation
Any in-depth security approach needs to account for network and device segmentation.
As MissionSecure advises, “Inventory, segment, and patch. It’s not one cyber mistake that leaves you vulnerable. It’s the chain of attack, or the three holes, that lead to a bad situation.”
You get much more defense with proper segmentation than a simple perimeter-only defense. (If this all sounds like a foreign language, talk to your company’s IT person to get a better feel for what it means for you.)
- Separate Work and Personal Devices
If you have multiple devices – including personal phones and computers and those issued by your employer – it’s wise to reserve them for specific purposes. Never do work-related tasks on your personal devices or personal tasks on your work devices.
As simple as this tip is in theory, it can be difficult to implement. Between kids who are doing school work from home and spouses who need devices to do their own work, trying to keep everything separated may prove to be a challenge. But this is something you need to strive for. Otherwise, you could put your business at risk by exposing sensitive data in places where it should not be.
- Stay Up-to-Date
Updates are annoying! We get it. Nobody likes those little notifications that pop up and tell you to install a new version or restart your computer. It takes time and could create complications. But here’s the deal: Updates exist for a reason.
Nobody hates putting out an update more than the vendor. It’s time-consuming and requires additional work. But if they’re putting one out, there’s a reason. And if you stay with the old version for too long, it’s possible that you could become a target for hackers who’ve exposed a known loophole in the previous version.
- Use Strong Passwords
Let’s discuss password hygiene for a moment, shall we?
If you’re still using the same old password for every account, you’re basically creating a row of high-stakes dominos that could come crashing down at any moment in time.
It’s important that you create unique and complex passwords for every account. (And then change these passwords out every few months.) If that all sounds too confusing, a simple password manager like LastPass will make your life a whole lot easier.
Stay Safe, Stay Productive
Cybersecurity is not the most engaging topic for most employees. They’d rather focus on tasks and responsibilities that they feel “move the needle.” But the reality is that it’s becoming a much more critically important component of doing business. And if you don’t pay attention to vulnerabilities and threats, you could easily find yourself in a situation where your ineptitude hurts your employer or business. It’s time to step up and take action!