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Remember the tracksuit and slippers Zoom calls? We’ve moved on a bit from those days but many people are still enjoying a hybrid work-from-home/ office model, which means cyber security needs to be a priority in the office and our homes.

Hybrid working has many benefits, but it has brought with it greater reliance on technology and more cyber security challenges.

Flexible working is the new norm

As Covid has evolved, so have working set-ups with many companies adopting a hybrid model that allows employees to split their time between being in the office and working remotely.

This hybrid model has exposed many cyber security pitfalls:

  • Remote connectivity and infrastructure

Companies now often rely on cloud technology and remote connectivity via a VPN. There has been a huge rise in cyber attacks on cloud services, VPN gateways and Windows RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol).

  • Public networks are more vulnerable

Remote working staff may be accessing company information over public networks. This opens up vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to exploit.

  • Reliance on employees and their home networks and devices

Companies now have to rely on employees to be more aware of cyber security and how their online behaviour can create vulnerabilities. Employees are using their potentially vulnerable home wifi networks and personal devices. Issues such as weak passwords, a lack of antivirus software, unsecured mobile devices and outdated equipment become an issue.  

Top tips for being cyber-wise

  1. Use antivirus and internet security software at home.
  2. Keep devices safe and don’t allow household members to access work laptops, mobile phones, and other forms of hardware.
  3. Buy a sliding webcam cover. Hackers can easily access your webcam without permission, compromising your privacy. If your webcam is separate from your device, you should unplug it whenever you are not using it.
  4. Secure your home wifi by changing the default administrator password to your router; ensuring only trusted devices connect to your wifi.
  5. Use a strong, unique password for each of your devices and online accounts and use a password manager to remember your passwords. Additionally, enable two-step authentication, especially for your online accounts.
  6. Have backups. No matter how cautious you are, you may get hacked. If that is the case, often the only way you can recover your information is to restore from a backup. Make sure you are doing frequent backups of any important information. Use a centralised storage solution and make sure you’re familiar with the company storage service.

Being cyber-wise not only protects you but your company and family too. These tips are quick and easy to implement and could prevent major problems down the line.

About the Author

Maston Lane
Group and Bank Chief Operating Officer, Sasfin Holdings Limited