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Working from Home? Here's why Awareness is a Priority



Living through the pandemic has driven shifts in the way people socialize, eat, and work. Businesses worldwide were forced to shut down their offices. Which created the need for people to adjust to a totally new lifestyle that they were not used to. Remote working has been more prominent in the last few years than it’s ever been before. While working from home is a debatable topic, it surely has its benefits. However, with those benefits comes unique security challenges.


Here are a few of the challenges that companies face with working remotely.


Passwords

Human error is a crucial factor when it comes to security. No matter how much security a company provides using firewalls, VPNs, and other security software, that can all go down the drain with the creation of a horribly weak password.


Human error is the jackpot for hackers. It’s much easier for hackers to use the obliviousness of a user than to attempt to crack a security software. Hackers can create codes that are specifically designed to try different variants of a password. It’s also important to note that if a password is discovered, hackers are likely to use that same password to access different accounts. This is why users are usually asked to create separate passwords for each account.


To avoid this, employers must ensure that employees are using passwords with much complexity. Those passwords should not contain personal information. Prompting users to change their password every 30 to 60 days has proven to be a good practice.


Shared Devices

When working remotely, there is a heightened possibility that other users may have access to your devices. While people may trust family and friends, devices used for work should not be accessed by anyone besides the employee. All work devices should be protected by a password and no one other than the employee should be aware of it. Employees are the only people aware of the correct security measures to take. Often, this is one of the reasons why company issued devices are provided by the employer.


Phishing Schemes

Another challenge that companies are likely to encounter are phishing schemes.

Phishing is a strategic technique that is often used to steal users’ data, such as credit card numbers and login credentials. Hackers lure individuals in with this scheme by impersonating legitimate emails, advertisements, or text messages.


Phishing schemes have become much harder to detect. Hackers will go to great lengths to ensure that they look legit. Using the same logos, signatures, typefaces, and phrases that a company uses. Without employees knowing the correct practices of cyber security, it will be very easy to grant hackers’ access to sensitive information.


For example, a user may receive a deceptive email claiming that their account requires a password reset. In the email, there would be instructions on how to reset the password and a link to do so. Once the link is opened, the user is redirected to a “legitimate” website. From there, the user would be promoted to enter their login credentials. The hacker would then have access to secured areas within an organization’s network.


To prevent this, companies should provide web application security and offer the correct training to ensure the employees do not become a victim to this scheme.

Common Illegitimate emails clues:

· Grammar and punctuation errors

· Sense of urgency

· Inconsistency in email addresses


As the use of working from home continues to surge, employers must be aware of these challenges and make sure that educating their employees on security awareness is a core focus. Security software is also an absolute must.

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