Working from home can create a great sense of freedom and flexibility, but it comes with its challenges. When working from home, the heightened cybersecurity risks that come with working outside of a secure corporate network must be addressed for optimal protection. Should someone hack into your home office or Wi-Fi network, your computer and the data stored on it could be vulnerable to attack.
Here are five tech security ideas for creating a safe home office.
Invest in a sophisticated security system
When considering the protection of sensitive data, it’s important to address physical security threats as well as cyber ones.
Ensure that your home office is fitted with a modern, cloud-based camera system and home security system that can be easily integrated for maximum protection. This will give you video evidence of any unauthorized access to particular doors in your home. For home offices that contain confidential information and valuable technology, ensure that you incorporate an access system, such as a keycard or key fob system to properly protect your office from intruders.
Additionally, ensure there are no blind spots that aren’t covered by your camera system or other security devices. Ensure that your doors and windows are fitted with sensors to alert you to any unauthorized access to your office space.
Use a Virtual Private Network
High on the list of most work-from-home security tips is the importance of using a VPN.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides online anonymity and privacy by creating a private network that can be accessed and used via a public internet connection. VPNs allow your online actions to go virtually untraceable, as they mask your (IP) address. With a VPN service, you can establish secure, encrypted connections for enhanced privacy—even more so than a secured (Wi-Fi) hotspot.
By using a VPN, you can significantly reduce the risk of any sensitive data being compromised by malware attacks and other security breaches.
Only use your work devices for work
Working from home can create a blurred line between work and personal devices, but they should be kept separate to minimize security risks.
When working from home, treat any work-issued laptops, mobile devices and other sources of sensitive data as if you were using them in a physical office premise. Taking this approach will assist you in maintaining a security-first mentality. When working from a physical office space, family members and children have no access to your work devices, and the same should be the case when working from home. By considering all work-related laptops and such as work-only devices, it makes it easier to control any unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Use company-approved storage solutions
When working from home, it’s important to maintain adherence to company policies, including only using designated programs as instructed by your employer.
When it comes to facilitating remote-working, companies must establish a set standard for all staff to comply with to simplify security configurations and make it easier for IT personnel to support remote workers.
This is, of course, especially important when saving or backing files up. All work data should be stored in a secure, company-approved location, such as a cloud-based storage option.
Using an approved cloud-based storage allows for control and central management of all aspects of the data, including access permissions, ownership, and security, while reducing the risk of duplications being stored in multiple locations – some of which may be more vulnerable to a security breach.
Use strong passwords
The best way to protect against hackers accessing any sensitive data is to make it as difficult as possible for them to successfully log in. By using a password manager, every password you use will be a strong password featuring a complex string of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and characters – a much harder code to crack.
Use multifactor authentications
Multifactor authentication only grants access to a device or software after more than one form of authorized identification is provided.
A single password can be easily memorized or a physical device stolen. Multifactor authentication takes password protection one step further, preventing hackers from gaining access by doubling up the barriers to entry.
Encrypt sensitive messages
Data encryption converts language into a code that only those authorized within your company can translate back into readable form using a secret password or key. This means that even if a sensitive message or data is intercepted, the hacker will not have the key required to interpret the information, rendering it useless.
Working from home is a luxury that must be carefully managed to retain the level of security required to protect against cybersecurity breaches. With the remote-working trend in full force, working from home comes with a fresh set of security vulnerabilities that must be addressed to ensure that all sensitive data and documents remain secure and confidential.