How to Work from Home Securely

How do I work from home…at all? Ah, the question that boggled the minds of millions of Canadians this week as we set out to achieve social distancing in the wake of COVID-19.  

We’re nearly a week down, so the simpler logistics of working from home should be in your rear-view. Hopefully, by now, you have enough of a functional set-up to perform your daily tasks and connect with the rest of your team with ease.

Now begs the question: How can you work from home securely? How can you work from home in a way that doesn’t put the data and IT infrastructure of your business at risk?

In an ideal world, these are questions that you would have answered for your business long before COVID-19 was a part of our lives. Unfortunately, there’s no going back—so put a little bit of work in now to ensure that your remote work efforts don’t cause serious issues for your businesses in the short and long term. Here’s what we suggest…

Use strong passwords (and store them!)

Let’s start with the the obvious: if you’re using weak or repetitive passwords across work-related accounts—now is the time to change that habit. Passphrases are the new standard in passwords. You should also consider using a password manager like LastPass to store all your passwords. With a password manager, you only need to remember one password, and the platform does the rest of the work.

Set up two-factor authentication

That alert that you exit every time you log into that app about two-factor authentication? Time to take those more seriously. Currently, two-factor authentication is one of the best defenses that individual users can use to boost their cyber security. Please, for us, just do it.

Use a VPN

If your business isn’t using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to collaborate, share files and communicate remotely, you’re ultimately putting all of your data at risk. A VPN extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks safely. Simply put, using a VPN is the standard for remote work in 2020.

Set up firewalls and antivirus software

Firewalls and antivirus software are two more examples of IT standards that are, in 2020, commonly found across industries. Don’t have an aweso me IT team to take care of these things for you? We get it. However, they are truly fundamental basics when it comes to protecting your data IT infrastructure, and we would recommend that all businesses consider implementing them.

Secure your home router

If you’re working off your at-home internet, your router is a key point of risk. In the cyber security world, some refer to home routers as the “front door to your home”. Luckily, there are several easy steps you can take to secure your router.

Back up your data

Seems obvious, right? Unfortunately, many instances of remote work end in lost files and frustration due to lack of data backup. The two main methods of data backup for businesses are through cloud services like Azure, as well as server backup. If you’re looking for easy, cloud services are your friend. Again—please, for us, just do it.   

Looking for technical guidance and IT support for your business during this uncertain time? We’re here to help: https://www.gradea.ca/speak-to-an-expert

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