How to Stay Vigilant Against Cyber Threats While Working Remotely

As we find ourselves adjusting to working in a remote setting, many new challenges present themselves. One of which is centered around cyber security and what IT departments are doing to keep their systems and infrastructure free of viruses, malware, ransomware, and hacking attempts.  There are many tools like security software, hard drive encryption, system scans, and the list goes on but the most effective weapon at our disposal is user education.

Over the course of the last year and a half, you have probably seen new systems like Multi-Factor Authentication and Mobile Device Management systems introduced into your environment if they weren’t there already. There should also be training provided by companies that address best practices while working remotely.

Be aware that when working from home, and connected to Virtual Private Network (VPN), you are essentially allowing any malicious traffic from your home network to be exposed to the business network. A few tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep all machines on your home network patched and updated
  • Only connect to the VPN when you need access to a work resource. Your IT department should have implemented an inactivity timeout for VPN. For example, 30 minutes of inactivity results in a disconnect from the VPN
  • Use strong passwords, do not share passwords, and be sure your company is invoking frequent password changes
  • Do not allow family members or friends to use your work computer
  • Avoid using password management software on your computer
  • Be aware of your browsing habits. Do you use the same password for everything? This should be avoided
  • Continue to be vigilant in scrutinizing and avoiding email and websites for potential phishing attacks


There will clearly be an increased emphasis on cybersecurity going forward as companies explore the best ways to leverage the gain in worker efficiency and morale while maintaining secure systems and infrastructure. You, the end-user, are the most effective means to avoid security threats when armed with awareness and education.

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