It’s incredible that we live in a time when so many people are able perform their jobs from the comfort of their own homes. If COVID-19 and the current quarantine measures had happened even just 15 years ago, businesses would be facing much greater challenges in providing access to files, software, and more. 

Today, much of the software we utilize eruns online, and software suites like Microsoft 365 have digital collaboration built into them. 

Too often, however, convenience can come with compromise. In the case of employees working from personal devices in their homes, exposure to security risks can be much greater. With so many people suddenly working out of office, hackers and malicious programs are working extra hard to exploit gaps and oversights in security. 

Here are a few of the biggest threats facing employees working out of their homes.    

Weaker Network Security 

With both offices and public spaces such as coffee shops closed, employees are almost exclusively working off their home networks. While these networks are at least private, they still tend to be much less secure than a corporate network. 

Your employees likely don’t have security measures such as hardware firewalls in place and, unfortunately, your control over an employee’s internet setup is limited. 

One effective and feasible way of securing your employees’ network activity is to use a VPN. When using a VPN, it’s important to have it set up correctly. Multifactor authentication should be implemented, and it’s best to avoid split-tunneling, as this can negate the added security. 

While a VPN is a great solution for many businesses, it might not be the right for everyone. Funneling every employee through a VPN can be taxing on network capacity and result in slower internet speeds. For alternative solutions, it’s best to consult with a third-party IT company such as Expedient Technology Solutions. 

Lack of Updates 

Outdated software and firmware provide one of the easiest points of exploitation for malware programs and hackers. While company devices and systems are likely set for automatic and routine updates, personal devices aren’t always well maintained. Whether it’s their OS, their browser, their software, or even their router/modem, it’s very important that employees keep their systems up to date with the latest patches and upgrades. 

These routine updates can be implemented as part of a BYOD policy, so that expectations are clearly set, and updates are properly carried out and monitored for each employee. 

Email Scams 

Despite having been around for a long time, email scams are as prevalent as ever. And they’re getting smarter. Some phishing scams are even taking advantage of the current quarantine situation. Employees may receive fake emails asking to reset password or forward login information. 

These scams often include actual names of people within the company and may even send users to a “login portal” that looks legitimate.    

Multifactor authentication, as well as employee training, can greatly help protect against these types of attacks.  

Keeping Your Systems Secure During Quarantine 

While it’s important to provide the necessary access to employees as they work from home, this should never come at the cost of security. As with anything in your company’s infrastructure, remote-work policies should be monitored, assessed for risk, and updated accordingly. 

We’re in a season when many companies are making things up as they go because they simply don’t have the time or resources to handle things properly. This is where a dedicated IT partner can be a gamechanger. 

At Expedient Technology Solutions, we have both the experience and the capacity to cover gaps in your security and make sure your business is protected during this uncertain time. From creating and implementing BYOD and at-home policies to providing on-going network security in Dayton, Ohio,  our team of IT professionals is here to help. 

Contact us today! 

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