Cyber Security – COVID-19
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several weeks, I’m sure you’ve either seen the news or experienced the affects of the COVID-19 virus. If not, visit your local Walmart for just a few minutes. News about these types of events tend to make people overly anxious about what’s coming next. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are taking advantage of this anxiety to exploit those looking for the latest updates or just to prey on your fears. In cases where you or your employees are contemplating working from home; here are a few things to remember to keep your organization’s data safe.
Conducting meetings remotely can sometimes be troublesome. There are several video conferencing services out there that do provide a “free” limited service. Zoom and GotoMeeting are a couple that work well. Here at Cynergy Technology, we use Zoom as our video conferencing service of choice for these types of meetings and it’s worked well for us. Most services do provide a free trial so you can try them out to make sure they fit your needs before subscribing.
Telecommuting / Mobile Workforce
Unless you’re a cyber-geek, home networks are never as secure as that of your organization. If you’re working from home, it is always best to use a corporate laptop and make sure you’re using an approved VPN connection to your corporate network. If you’re not sure what this is or how it works, we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have to use your home computer, make sure the system you’re connecting from is “clean” before making the connection.
Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware
Make sure you check your company policy first before attempting to connect your home computer to your corporate network. In some cases this my be prohibited due to the unknowns relating to home computers and their security. Worst case, if you’re working from your home computer, make sure your anti-virus / anti-malware applications are up to date and functioning properly. Make sure you complete a thorough scan of your system before connecting to your corporate network. Connecting a secure tunnel (VPN) to your organization’s network from an infected machine can expose the corporate network to the same Malware on your system. A VPN connection is considered a “Trusted Source”; meaning that your system is treated as if it were already inside the secure network of the office; bypassing the normal security features of the firewall that are applied if coming directly from the internet.
Valid Information Sources
Be extra diligent to ensure the content you’re looking at is valid. If you’re not sure, check for valid sources that you can trust. I know it’s hard to believe, but Facebook, Twitter or instagram posts can be spoofed with misinformation in an effort to get you to click on a link to get more information. There has been a rise in COVID-19 Coronavirus phishing attempts, so the same applies. Make sure the emails are coming from a valid source. Never click on links if you’re not certain of the source. Best practice is to manually type the address into your browser if the address is to a website you’re familiar with.
Above all, be safe.
Brent Hudson, MBA-ITM
vCIO – Managed Services