Even before COVID-19 forced hundreds of thousands of workers to set up their home offices, working remotely was on the rise. With its many perks, including increased workday flexibility, working from home has its advantages – chief amongst them the opportunity to work safely alone during a pandemic. However, a swift move from the cubicle to the couch can present challenges, including cyber and physical security threats. With that in mind, here are a few tips from ONVIF to ensure you and your work items are protected, while working from home:
First, make sure your employees have the tools/training needed
If you’re a small or mid-sized business and new to remote working, consider investing in some training for yourself and your employees on best home office cyber security practices. A little training can go a long way in helping employees be aware of the additional risks they are now facing, without the benefits of an IT department and office network protections. Employees should be aware of common phishing attacks and the risks associated with any public Wi-Fi they might be connected to. Even if you’re only connected to your home network, it still presents a variety of risks, as it’s likely that multiple users and devices are connected to the network and are regularly surfing and downloading non-work related items. If possible, employees should work from a network separate from their home system. If this isn’t a possibility, consider updating passwords.
Work in a private location
This may seem like a no-brainer, however, those who find themselves suddenly posited in their living room might also find themselves adjusting to new “coworkers.” You or your employees might live with family, friends or roommates and confidentiality of information must be taken into consideration. Think twice before jumping on a group Zoom call – is the disclosed information sensitive in nature? Beware of leaving confidential files open and visible. It’s good practice to be aware of your surroundings – whether you’re working from home, in the park or at a safe distance from others in the coffee shop.
Evaluate your residential security
A large number of break-ins occur in residential areas. With this in mind, employers and employees should be aware of steps they can take to ensure the safety of their home, during this uncertain time. Outside of personal property being at risk, many remote employees will have office technology in their homes, as well as potentially sensitive data stored on those devices. If you don’t have a home security system, and don’t plan to install one, at minimum it’s a good idea to ensure windows and doors are locked at all times. If you leave a window open, only leave it cracked a few inches. Additionally, don’t leave items of value, such as laptops and other technology, visible from those passing outside.
In these unprecedented times, it’s easy to get swept up in the rapid developments happening outside our front doors. However, now more than ever, is not the time to ignore potential risks inside our own homes. Just like you’re likely conducting COVID-19 risks assessments when it comes to venturing outdoors, you should be aware of the cyber and physical risks associated with a home office.