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IT Security for Working at Home

Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus many employees have been forced to work from home, or may be working from home in the near future. If you find yourself in this situation it’s important to remember to follow the best IT security practices when working from home to not put your company at risk of an online virus or cyberattack.

Working remotely can be challenging because you likely don’t have the same security safeguards in place at home as you do in the office. In addition, most people have multiple devices connected to their home Wifi, including personal computers, smartphones, game consoles, etc. These can all offer hackers a gateway into your home Wifi which can then give them a backdoor into the corporate device you are working from. It’s up to you to implement your own layers of security controls at home to prevent your company’s data from being breached.

 

Cyber criminals love to prey on companies when they are most vulnerable, and one of the weak spots they look for is employees who are not following the best IT security practices for working remotely.

Below is a list of things you can do to prevent cyberattacks while working remotely. You should follow these guidelines whenever you are logged into a corporate laptop or phone, even if it’s just to check a few emails.

IT Security Checklist for Remote Employees

Only Use Secure Wifi

  • Avoid using Public WiFi
  • Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  • Change the default Wifi router passwords to something more secure
  • Update router firmware

Protect Your Workspace

  • Don’t use your personal computer for work
  • Don’t let anyone eavesdrop on what you are working on
  • Encrypt sensitive data in emails
  • Don’t use the same passwords on work devices as you do personal devices
  • Update software for all devices that are connected to your home network (this includes personal computers, television services, game consoles, thermostats, etc.)

Secure Your Devices

  • Update firmware
  • Create strong passwords using multi-factor authentication
  • Review and follow corporate policies and procedures
  • Don’t leave your work devices unaccompanied in a vehicle
  • Keep your home or apartment securely locked

Use Common Sense

  • Don’t share your work devices with family or friends
  • Don’t post business itineraries or corporate information online. This includes posting photos that may show addresses, client information, or any other personal or business information in the background
  • Don’t let your guard down. It’s easy to feel comfortable at home but practice the same IT security best practices at home as you would at work

Report Any Security Issues Immediately

  • Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you fear your work computer has been breached contact an IT professional within your company immediately

Fill out the form below or contact PCR Business Systems if you have any questions about setting up a secure workspace for your remote employees.

 

PCR Welcomes Lucas Wright

We are happy to welcome Lucas Wright to the PCR Business Systems Team. Lucas brings with him IT experience as well as enthusiasm and we’re extremely excited to have him as part of our team.

Here are a few things about Lucas to help you get to know him better:

  • Lucas recently got married!
  • He and his wife adopted a pup a few years ago. It was around Halloween and they named him “Zero” after the ghost dog from Nightmare Before Christmas which was playing at the time
  • He grew up in Tallmadge where he went to high school and was a member of the robotics club and student senate
  • He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Akron before shifting gears and going into IT
  • He enjoys playing PC and tabletop games
  • He recently completed Google’s IT Support Professional Program and has plans in the works to obtain several more IT certifications

Questions for Lucas:

Q: What do you usually have for breakfast?
A: Big bowl of oats

Q: What is your middle name?
A: Walter

Q: Favorite sport to watch?
A: Overwatch League (esport) and the Browns

Q: Goal you have for yourself?
A: My recent goal has been achieved in getting hired here at PCR. Next I want to accomplish getting my A + certifications, and then start working on obtaining other CompTIA certifcations (Network + & Security+) to really expand my knowledge and skillset.

Q: Pets?
A: My pup named Zero. Two cats Lily and Calvin

Q: What is your hobby?
A: PC and tabletop gaming

Q: What is your favorite restaurant?
A: Saffron Patch. It’s an Indian restaurant in the Valley.

Q: What is your favorite drink?
A: French press coffee or really any IPA

Q: What’s your favorite travel destination? (been there or want to go)
A: Cruises anywhere.

Q: What characteristics do you admire (in self or others)?
A: Definitely a good sense of humor! And a genuine sincerity in the way they talk or listen to you.

In businesses since 2004, PCR is the trusted IT provider for Akron area businesses. Learn more at pcrbusiness.com.

Network Security Risk Assessment

Is your business at risk for a Cyber Security Attack?

Our questionnaire will assess your Cyber Security risks and help prevent attacks from ever occurring.

Prevention… In the NFL, it’s a defensive scheme designed to guard against the big play. Except, it seems every time I watch a team go into the prevent defense the opponent drives down the field in a matter of seconds and kicks the game-winning field goal.

Maybe I’ve watched too many Browns games over the years, but this conservative approach to winning always seems to end poorly. I like a coach who goes after the quarterback when the game is on the line—a coach who brings the heat and always keeps the offense off-balance.

I feel the same way about defending against hackers. As soon as you relax your cyber security defense, hackers will find a way to attack where you’re most vulnerable.

 

Free Cyber Security Assessment for Small Businesses

Prevention is key to preventing a cyber attack, but it’s not as simple as putting a few security measures in place to guard against the big attack. You must have a proactive prevention plan in place, you must stay up-to-date on the latest cyber security risks, and you must keep the pressure on hackers by constantly updating and monitoring your network to let them know not to mess with your business.

As we’ve written about in our Cyber Crime Files, cyber attacks can happen to any size business. That includes yours.

So what can you do to actively prevent a cyber attack? You can start by taking this cyber security network assessment to see if your business is prepared.

We designed this high-level cyber security assessment exclusively for small businesses owners so that you can assess your cyber security risks and conclude if you have the proper preventative measures in place.

We hope you find value in our cyber security assessment. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out and we’ll be happy to help your business set up the best defense against cyber criminals.