Working from home because of COVID-19? Hackers will soon follow

Remote working woman

Working from home because of COVID-19? Hackers will soon follow

Working from home is a given now – but it doesn’t mean we need to compromise security

As you would imagine, our helpdesk team has been inundated with calls this week, as we try to get your workforce up and running from home. We’re pleased to say that because most of you were proactive and saw this need coming, we’ve been able to manage the workload and get the vast majority of you up and running remotely. A win for Business Continuity plans!

As the global workforce has started the remote-working revolution, its let to company’s refocused attention on securing home computers, which are now actively connecting to company networks, and there’s a rise in the number of requests to help secure these consumer devices.

For example, at Cisco, the number of requests for security support to help this new remote workforce has jumped 10x in the last few weeks. Intuitive IT and other MSPs and IT Support providers have similar stories.

Now that everyone has dispersed and working away in their kitchens, bedrooms, studies and patios, the unfortunate reality is that hackers will soon follow. Your team have your company data with them, connecting to home networks and devices setup with little thought about security. Sorry to add another thing for you to worry about in this time of crisis and uncertainty, but we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t.

Hackers are modifying their password-stealing/malware messaging to make it relevant to the Coronavirus, and there is plenty of messaging about COVID-19 going around at the moment!

US Cybersecurity officials released an advise warning businesses to be on guard against a surge of malicious emails aimed at already on-edge and overwhelmed workforce. 

Hackers will start to look at the poorly setup and poorly secured wifi networks as a reinvigorated vector for attack. There is more reward in attacking home networks now.

So what can you do? Here are some tips:

  • If you have staff working from home computers, make sure they have up to date anti-virus software installed.
  • Ensure they are patching their computer operating systems weekly to protect against bugs and issues
  • Where possible, don’t let your staff use home computers. Provide staff with laptops which can be protected with your global IT policies of patching and software
  • Make sure your staff’s home wifi is secured with a password and encrypted with WPA2
  • Make sure home routers and wifi units have administrators passwords which have been changed from the manufacturer defaults
  • Remind staff to be vigilant when it comes to scammer emails, calls and text messages.

If you need someone from Intuitive IT to double-check these computers and networks please let us know by lodging a ticket through our helpdesk.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions.