AAC Blog

Cyber Security Tips for Remote Working

COVID-19 has revolutionised the way every industry conducts and organises its business. From digitalising client-facing services to managing projects remotely, working independently demands improved communication, increased productivity and fastidious time management.

Remote working may have presented us all with a diverse range of challenges, however it has  simultaneously allowed us to have a better life-work balance and ultimately more freedom. As a direct result of the pandemic we now rely more than ever on technology. From Zoom meetings to Collaborate presentations, we require our software to be ultra safe and our firewalls to be secure. This is your go-to guide for remote working cybersecurity.

Choose the right firewall.
There are many components to consider when deciding which firewall is right for your company; size and scale are the primary features which should be front and centre of your priorities. A firewall will protect your business from hacking, malware and viruses, so selecting the right provider is critical. Be aware of how people will be using the firewall, how large you anticipate your company to grow, and how robust the firewall is required to be. The varying sizes are deciphered by host-based (smaller scale computer to computer basis) to Network Firewall (multi computer scale) and Enterprise Network (larger company size complex network use). Firewalls can be used to protect software, hardware or cloud-based operations, so do you research to find out which system will protect your operations.

Installing anti-malware software
Used to detect, prevent and remove attacks and monitor suspicious activity posed on your IT systems and devices, anti-malware is an essential component of your cybersecurity strategy. Protecting against attacks caused by viruses, rootkits, ransomware and spyware, easily installed on gateway servers, network appliances and individual devices, anti-malware software operates operates using signature-based malware detection, behaviour-based malware detection and sandboxing. Ensure your malware products update regularly. Attacks have become increasingly sophisticated across computers and devices, the latest version of your malware will protect against the most recent forms of exploitative techniques. Hackers typically identify emerging vulnerabilities in systems, keeping up to date with the most current malware versions will keep you comprehensively protected.

Understanding your VPN
Enabling you to create a secure online connection to another network, A VPN, or Virtual Private Network protects your browsing activity across region-restricted websites. Connecting your PC, smartphone, or tablet to another online server allows you to safely use the internet. Locating your server to the country you are attempting to access a website, enables you to visit certain websites, and assets servers from outside this country would not usually be privy to. VPNs can encrypt online activity to divert potential hacking attacks. Choosing the right VPN is also essential, unreliable providers will increase your vulnerability to cyber-attacks and slow down your internet speed and secure a direct debit that can be very hard to cancel!

Back up data
Implementing multiple security systems can help protect against attacks, but the highly intelligent techniques used in the modern world of cybercrime can sometimes prove too aggressive to block. Therefore utilising a system which is robust enough to provide a back up is imperative. Hard disks will always be at risk of attack, so using cloud software, accessible from any device is an ideal back up solution. We suggest IDrive Personal – rated the best cloud storage service. Backblaze - rated the best value in cloud storage. Acronis True Image - the best cloud storage service for complex systems.

Practical solutions to protecting your systems from attack
Aside from software, storage systems and encryption, educating your staff and yourself about the processes, hackers use to identify vulnerabilities is vital.

While strengthening your software will help detect and destroy any threats to your system, one of the most critical elements of the process is to prevent potential attacks. The best way to do this is to remain vigilant to threats and empower your employees  or colleagues with the skills to recognise and manage them.

Supplying computers and devices which have all of the aforementioned security systems is a robust way to ensure weaknesses in colleagues' technology do not leave you vulnerable to security breaches or attacks. Phishing emails are another common form of cyberattack, which, although entirely unsophisticated, easily entice click throughs from unsuspecting victims. Identifiable by poor grammar and spelling, phishing emails are usually sent from suspicious email addresses with subjects designed to shock or scare people into opening or clicking on a contained link. Ensure the team is familiar with these phishing emails to ensure your systems don't fall victim to these poorly structured scams. Equally make sure strong passwords are used by everyone in the team, utilising various capital letters, characters and numbers, checking that these are all changed every three months, to heighten security. Using a password manager and two-factor authentication also compliment the use of a secure password.

No business will ever be entirely protected or immune from cyber threats or security breaches. Even the most robust and expensive software can be undermined by the ultra modernised cybercriminal with the experience and credentials to dismantle even the most sophisticated security software. However when overfaced with multi-factoral programmes, after a few preliminary failed attacks, this can be enough to dissuade a criminal from successfully hacking your business.

 

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