Remote working can be a blessing. More time spent with the family, less time commuting and sitting through meetings from the comfort of your own home. But as companies across Australia continue to offer flexible work environments to prevent the spread to COVID-19, it is important to understand the security and privacy risks that both the business and employees may encounter.
Employees who are usually protected by corporate networks are working from much less secure locations, and cybercriminals have used COVID-19 as an opportunity. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ASCS) has seen a significant increase in Australians being targeted with COVID-19 related scams, and advised everyone to stay aware and up-to-date. To help you get started, here are three things you could do to protect both your employees and the business.
Implement multi-factor authentication
According to the Australian Government, multi-factor authentication (MFA) is considered to be one of the most effective controls you can implement to prevent unauthorised access to computers, applications and online services. Using multiple layers of authentication makes it much more challenging to access your systems.
Multi-factor authentication can use a combination of:
- Something the user knows, whether it be a passphrase, PIN or an answer to a secret question
- Something the user physically possesses such as a card, token or a security key
- Something the user inherently possesses such as a fingerprint or retina pattern.
Update your software & operating systems
Often software updates for operating systems and applications are developed to address security issues. Updates often include new security features that protect your data and device. Quite often cybercriminals take advantage of software vulnerabilities in common applications like operating systems and browsers.
Here are some best practices when it comes to software and operating system updates:
- Stay current: software vendors release updates regularly and many of them relate to important security issues. Appoint someone to be in charge of staying on top of these updates.
- Keep up with regular maintenance tasks: appoint someone to be in charge of keeping software licenses up to date and keeping software current.
- Automate what you can: this will lessen the burden in the long run.
- Back up everything: if you experience any crashes while updating you’ll be glad you did.
Outsource a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP)… like us!
Managed IT Services are a subscription-based outsourcing of IT systems management for businesses, which also includes the management of other IT processes and functions intended to improve business operations and reduce costs.
The goal of managed IT services is to help your business run more effectively by transferring the burden of managing and maintaining your IT software, hardware and environment to us—the managed IT service provider. As your IT managed service provider we then maintain responsibility for the day-to-day maintenance, upkeep and functionality of your IT service, equipment and overall infrastructure, as well as any short or long-term IT strategy and expansion.
Partnering with an MSP offers many benefits to your business. Some of these include:
- Minimised downtime and cost reductions: with 24/7 proactive monitoring of your IT systems, we’re able to identify and address any issues before they cause damage, interruptions to your business or financial loss.
- Security: with over 43% of cyber attacks targeting small to medium businesses, it’s vital vulnerability assessments, threat management and secure user access and verification become a commonplace for your business. We’re always working with leading technology vendors and testing the latest world-class technology, tools, systems and security to deliver the best and safest IT solutions.
- Peace of mind knowing that no matter where you are or what issue arises, you have skilled professional IT experts in your corner who are prepared and ready to help you.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses continue to adapt to the fast-changing environment and develop strategies to protect their business and staff from cyber attacks. Here at eStorm, we encourage Australians to remain vigilant and to review your current strategies to ensure you incorporate cyber security measures.