19 Oct 2020  /  by:

Central 1

  /  3 minutes

Securing Your Home Office during COVID-19

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, we’ve seen a large shift from shared and secured office spaces to remote offices located in our living rooms. In fact, two-thirds of Canadian businesses have at least 60 per cent of their workforce working remotely. Once you sorted out where your new desk would fit, and how to manage distractions from home, did you ever take the time to ensure your set up was cyber secure? Working from home poses a whole new set of cyber security challenges and without the convenience of in-house technical support. Here are a few cyber security housekeeping items to consider to ensure your new office is safe and secure.

Secure your Wi-fi

Are you still using your default network name and password? While these may seem secure, default settings are much easier for fraudsters to hack into than personalized settings. Take the time to rename your router and set a strong password. Strong passwords are made up of at least 8 characters, have a combination of lower and uppercase letters, and contain at least 1 number and special character. Think of them as passphrases rather than passwords.

If your router has a remote administration function ensure it is disabled to prevent future exploitation, also more advanced routers provide guest network, best to disable this to reduce your exposure, let your guests use their roaming internet when visiting.

One last tip for securing your wi-fi is making sure that you limit the coverage it can provide outside of your home. To do this place the router in a central spot, rather than close to windows, doors or shared walls.

Physical Security

Keeping devices and data secure extends to your physical workplace. While a traditional office provided a security guard and access card readers for entry, your home office isn’t quite as well equipped.

What you should be doing to ensure your corporate and personal information is physically secured:
• Consider locking office doors if sensitive information is printed and accessible, or use a locking file cabinet
• Preferably don’t print documents, if you must then use a cross-cut shredder to destroy them securely
• Sharing devices within your family may seem like a safe thing to do, but in reality, work devices are at risk when accessed by spouses or children. It is best to provide alternative devices for them to use

Update your devices

Computers, phones, routers and smart devices all require software updates in order to keep you safe. Make sure you are protected by running the most up to date software on all of your devices. This is especially important now that you are out of the office and have parts of your network that are not managed by an IT team.

Automatic updates make keeping your software up to date a breeze; just set it and forget it.

Conference call security

You might have heard the term “Zoombombing” at the beginning of the pandemic, where fraudsters were hacking into Zoom calls by guessing or finding meeting IDs online. While there were a number of factors that contributed to this problem here are some tips that will reduce the likelihood of this happening to you.

1. Chose a platform that has a robust set of security features
2. Always secure your meeting invites with access or participant codes
3. Don’t post meeting links in public places
4. Keep your software up to date

Identity security

Email and other forms of digital communication have become more important than ever when communicating with co-workers, clients, and business partners. In 2019, 39% of all phishing attempts globally occurred in Canada. Always double-check the sender’s email address, don’t just rely on the name. Practice caution when downloading any unexpected documents or files. Lastly, never give out large amounts of personal or private information through unverified digital communications.

Keeping you Cyber Safe

Central 1 has a team of experts who are here to keep you, your credit union and financial institution safe and cyber secure. Learn more about our cyber security solutions that detect, prevent and mitigate threats 24 / 7 / 365