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Securing Devices at Home and Work

For Week 2 of October’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we are discussing Securing Devices at Home and Work. This year we saw a change in the way businesses are working together, communicating, and collaborating with external parties. Most businesses are allowing employees to work from home, bring company-owned devices home, or use personal devices to connect to a company network.

This new way of working introduced new risks that businesses need to consider. Let’s review a few of these risks and discuss ways to mitigate potential effects.

Is the internet connection at home secure?

When using your internet connection at home, you want to make sure it is “safe” to use. “Safe” can be a nebulous term. In the security world, the following steps can ensure a safe connection:

  1. Change the default password to connect to your WiFi router
  2. Change the default password to access the WiFi connection
  3. Change the security settings to WPA2
  4. Make sure your router is updated to the latest firmware

Is the internet traffic from home to work secure?

When working from home, you may have to connect to your company network to access files, log into an application, or use communication tools to video chat with your co-workers. These connections need to be secure to ensure the confidentiality of your information as well as your company information.

The best way to secure this data is to utilize a Virtual Private Network (VPN), typically enabled by your company, which works as an encrypted tunnel for all traffic between your computer and the company network.

Are your personal devices secure?

Whether working from a company office or from your home, securing your personal devices is important. This means your cell phone, tablet, or any other mobile device used in connection with your work.

IT security personnel should work with you to ensure your devices are enabled with security updates and any necessary fixes to security bugs or flaws, and to encrypt your hard drives. Updating your devices regularly as instructed by your company’s IT will prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited. Missing necessary updates could result in viruses and ransomware attacks which are dangerous for both your personal data and data company-wide.

Working from home for the first time is a big adjustment and securing devices at home can be overwhelming. Follow the protocols we outlined and be sure to ask your IT department for help if you think you may be missing anything we mentioned. For questions on this topic or our security offerings, please contact SVA Consulting.

 

We will have more tips and tricks next week when we talk about Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare.

Authored by: Mark Schafer

Mark Schafer

Mark is the Chief Information Security Officer for SVA Consulting, LLC, a member of the SVA family of companies. Mark is a recognized consultant and leader in security program design and build, ensuring the security strategies he deploys are in alignment with his client’s business objectives.


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