When working from home, it’s important to establish a routine, take breaks throughout the day and stack daily habits to get things done. Oh and coffee. Caffeine can help with productivity, too. But what about your home’s cybersecurity strength? Organizations go to great lengths to safeguard their virtual networks, operating systems and corporate data. How secure is your home office? If confidential company information leaks from your home computer, the buck stops with you. These tips will help you and your company stay safe and secure while you’re working from home.
1. Security check!
Is your data at home as secure as it is in an office environment? Phishing scams, computer viruses, data breaches and ransomware attacks have skyrocketed since the pandemic began. Sidestep these IT nightmares by securing your network. Assess your internet access point and your end point, meaning your computer, tablet or other internet-connected device.
2. Build a taller wall with your own firewall
All of your neighbors have the same modem from residential providers, such as Comcast, AT&T, WOW and the like. These modems can be easily hacked through the wifi they are emitting and by the nature of being connected to major carrier networks. Protect your home network by placing a firewall behind your internet service provider’s modem. This adds an additional layer of security for your home network.
3. Safeguard your access point
Turn off your internet service provider’s wifi and enable your own wifi access point. This ensures that your corporate data is traversing your home network, behind your firewall, making it much more difficult to be hacked or compromised. Bonus if your firewall includes a wifi access point.
4. Always be patching
Whether you take your work laptop home or use a home computer to access corporate data, verify that your device’s software updates are current. This includes operating system updates and security patches for any software that runs locally on your device. You are significantly less susceptible to hacking efforts when your devices are up to date on patching and updates. Using third-party remote monitoring and management software ensures that all security updates and patches are applied as they are released.
5. Take Vitamin IT for virus protection
Antivirus software is a MUST for all internet-connected devices. Platforms that have antivirus software built into their operating systems are easily compromised. Look for a third-party managed antivirus solution that applies all definition updates as they are released.
6. Boost efficiency with bandwidth
Are you able to work as efficiently at home as you can in your office? Many homes do not have the business-grade internet connections that offices provide. Sometimes the bandwidth is insufficient but the problem often lies in how the network prioritizes the different types of internet traffic. Give your bandwidth a boost, so you can handle video calls and VoIP-based conversations. It’s worth the upgrade to a higher speed product.
7. Prioritize video and voice
Not all internet traffic is created equal. Make sure your firewall prioritizes video and voice traffic over streaming services, such as YouTube and gaming devices. This will help your business calls run smoothly without choppy interruptions. A third-party firewall can provide this level of service.