WFH: How to set up a secure home network

Home working used to be a treat for employees, the chance to work half a day, and spend half a day with family and loved ones, whilst pretending to work and being available for work should it arise. These days it is compulsory and closely monitored. Home working means being able to do exactly the same job from home, as you would be able to do from the office. You must have the same connections, same equipment, same opportunities and chances to do your job.  Home working is something that new recruits will look for within a new job. Offer it and you will attract good quality applicants. Deny it and the best applicants will not even look at your company for work opportunities. Home working is essential and here to stay. 

Many businesses have adapted and/or improved working remotely arrangements for their team members in these unprecedented times, often on very short notice. This has led to relocated IT infrastructure and operations. In some cases the IT Team has visited people in their homes to set up the home working station, in many cases, remote access is granted to laptops and home networks. People are working from tablets, iPads and mobile phones, as well as Laptops and home computers. 

You may be unaware of data security vulnerabilities that may occur as a result of remote work and technological disturbances, which attackers would gladly exploit. Know how to keep your data safe while working from home.

Here are some recommendations to help your institution’s data security as your team members prepare to work remotely for an indefinite amount of time.

1. WFH physical security – The first suggestion is to make sure your work equipment is physically secure and that you don’t provide unwanted access to sensitive information.

2. System access Encryption also aids in the protection of data on stolen or hacked systems. Check to see whether data encryption is enabled on your workstation. Whether you’re unsure, check with your IT department to see if you have it and if they believe it’s required. If you link your business computer to your home network, make it inaccessible to other machines on the network. If you must add it to the HomeGroup, turn off the option to share files.

3. Do not panic and always stay calm Rushing or being careless could result in user mistakes that cyber thieves can exploit. Perhaps you’ll forget to cipher a file before sharing it, or you’ll overlook scanning an email attachment before downloading it. Nevertheless, attackers are determined to find loopholes, and when there is more confusion, you are more prone to make errors.

Most importantly, individuals who work from home should be given basic security guidance, such as how to prevent phishing emails, how to avoid using public Wi-Fi, how to ensure home Wi-Fi routers are adequately protected, and how to check the security of the equipment they use to get work done.

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