Cybersecurity in the Pandemic: Keeping Employees Safe

There is little doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the modern workplace landscape. Companies have changed their operational methods and employees have adapted to working remotely. No matter the industry, businesses of all sizes are feeling the pandemic's impact and adjusting where appropriate and necessary. These adjustments include employee safety - both in person and digitally.

Where employees are still reporting in-person many health and safety precautions (e.g., masks, social distancing, thorough sanitizing efforts) have been implemented to mitigate the pandemic's spread. Where employees are working remotely there are digital safeguards that must be applied and followed. Here are a few ways a company can digitally protect its employees - and its assets - from the cyber threats imposed by the pandemic.

All-Inclusive Antivirus Software

One of the easiest and most effective ways a company can ensure its employees and its data are protected is through comprehensive antivirus software. As remote workers are relying more on their personal home networks, hackers are working hard to exploit any weaknesses.

A technically secure network infrastructure is the first step in helping mitigate cyber threats. Partnering with an MSP helps ensure a company's network is secure and constantly monitored. An experienced, expert MSP, such as AJTC, will keep an antivirus program running in the background to ensure security threats are identified and thwarted before they create major problems.

Strengthen Your Company VPN

Your company's Virtual Private Network (VPN) is likely a lifesaver for employees working remotely. The VPN enables many users to securely access data and services from remote networks. Resources can be easily and quickly shared across a VPN, creating a seamless work process for employees no matter where they are working. This also creates an urgency to ensure the business VPN is as secure as possible. When considering your VPN's security, remember these helpful points:

  • Use the strongest possible authentication and encryption methods available
  • Ensure employees are using strong, complicated passwords and that these passwords are updated regularly
  • Remind employees to access the company's VPN only when they need it and to disconnect from it when appropriate

Secure Your Email Communications

Remote work has increased our reliance on email communications and cybercriminals recognize this as a golden opportunity to exploit any existing weaknesses. Email scams are nothing new and are only gaining steam as the pandemic continues. Remind employees to use common sense when it comes to email and the old rules still apply.

  • Avoid clicking on links that seem suspicious or are do not appear secure (check that the link directs to a site with an "https" at the beginning of the URL)
  • Do not click on attachments that are unexpected or appear suspect
  • Avoid providing personal, financial, or password information to vendors who would not normally request this information.

Engage with a Managed Services Provider

Keeping up on data security solutions should be a major priority for companies as 2020 comes to a close and we look ahead to another year. Though the pandemic is not permanent it very well may have a permanent effect on how businesses operate moving forward. Working with an expert MSP alleviates stress, mitigates security threats, and leaves your company better prepared for technology challenges that may arise. Contact AJTC here to learn more or call 708.942.8200.

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