Businesses were forced to undergo significant transformations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while many offices around the country have opened up again, many people are still working from home. While it is clear that remote working provides some considerable benefits, employees need to be more aware than ever of the risks associated with such a working setup, including potentially exposing sensitive company information. A rigorous cyber security checklist is indispensable in preventing catastrophes such as these.
Any organisation’s cyber security programme comprises the people, procedures, and tools used to detect and mitigate cyber risks – but with so many moving parts and components to consider, there is always room for error. And this is magnified with remote working setups.
To help your company improve its overall cyber security, we’ve put together a list of things employers and employees can do to keep their data secure when working from home.
The ultimate remote working cyber security checklist
Perform regular security assessments
Regular security assessments are essential to keeping your organisation safe from cyber attacks.
By identifying potential vulnerabilities and threats, you can take steps to protect your systems and data from future attacks.
You can conduct different types of security assessments depending on your organisation’s needs. Some common assessment types include penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and risk analysis.
For help on the types of evaluation your company requires, speak to one of our team today.
Create a strong authentication policy
This policy should include using a combination of something you know (like a password), something you have (like a security token), and something you are (like a fingerprint).
By using all three factors as part of a multi-factor authentication process, you can be sure that only authorised users will be able to access your data.
At a minimum, you should implement two-factor authentication, requiring a password and a device with a one-time password for verification.
You should also enforce a strong password policy. Make sure employees avoid using personal information or easily guessed passwords and instead, use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Ensure that employees change passwords regularly and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
Using work email accounts
Work email accounts are often subject to more stringent security measures than personal accounts, such as two-factor authentication, decreasing the risk of sensitive company information being accessed by malicious actors.
Company-approved devices are an essential part of cyber security.
By only allowing specific devices to access company networks and data, businesses can better protect themselves from outside threats.
Of course, simply having a company-approved device is not enough. All devices must be properly configured and updated with the latest security patches and employees should also be trained to use these devices safely and securely.
Securing company devices
One way to secure company devices is to install security software and ensure that updates are automatic. This software can help to detect and prevent malware from infecting devices.
Another way to secure devices is to create strong passwords and limit access to sensitive data only to users who actually need it.
Sharing company devices – a cyber security checklist no-no
Company devices shouldn’t be shared with anyone who is not an employee of the company. And even then, it’s not something that should typically be tolerated. Everyone should be working on separate devices to ensure that any human-sourced cyber breaches can be identified, isolated, and eliminated.
A cyber security checklist should contain network protection
This includes both internal and external networks, as well as any wireless networks.
Network protection involves several steps, including creating secure passwords and firewalls and ensuring that all devices and software are updated with the latest security patches. By taking these simple steps, businesses can greatly reduce the risk of being hacked or infected with malware.
Data security policies
Data security policies help protect an organisation’s data from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, or destruction.
An effective data security policy will identify the types of data that need to be protected and the appropriate level of protection for each data type.
The policy should also specify who is responsible for protecting the data and how the data will be protected.
Identify the biggest cybersecurity risks
First, you should review your organisation’s past data breaches and incidents. This will give you insight into where your vulnerabilities lie.
Next, you should conduct a risk assessment of your systems and data. This will help you identify where your sensitive data is located and how it could be compromised.
Lastly, you should review your cyber insurance policy to see your coverage in case of a breach.
A cyber security checklist needs a breach recovery plan
There are four key components to a breach recovery plan:
- 1. Identifying the incident
- 2. Containing the damage
- 3. radicating the threat
- 4. Recovering from the attack
First, you need to identify when an attack has occurred. This can be done by monitoring your systems for unusual activity and having someone dedicated to reviewing logs regularly.
Once you’ve identified an attack, you must take steps to contain the damage. This may involve disconnecting affected systems from the network or taking them offline completely. Once the affected systems are isolated, you need a plan for replacing or disinfecting them.
You’ll also want to make sure you have backups of all important data so that you can restore it if necessary, and a business continuity plan in place to make sure your business can continue to operate in the event of an attack.
Create a cybersecurity policy
An effective cybersecurity policy will address three key areas:
It should outline the procedures that all employees must follow for each of these areas as well as clearly define everyone’s responsibilities and what is considered to be unacceptable behaviour.
Moreover, it is essential to have strong technical controls in place. These can include things like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption.
Train your employees in cyber security
Employees need to be trained in cyber security awareness to ensure they have a strong understanding of basic cyber security principles, such as how to create strong passwords and how to spot phishing emails.
They should also know what to do if they suspect that their accounts have been compromised or if they receive suspicious communications – in particular, phishing emails.
Phishing is an online scam where criminals try to trick people into giving them sensitive information. They may do this by sending fake emails or setting up fake websites that look like they belong to a legitimate organisation.
Businesses need to ensure that their employees are aware of phishing scams and know how to spot them. They should also have procedures for dealing with suspicious emails or websites.
Update all software and applications
Software updates often include security patches that can help protect your computer from being compromised by malware or hackers so all of your company’s software should be kept up to date at all times.
In addition, by keeping your software up to date, you can ensure that you have the latest features and performance enhancements.
Ensure your cyber security checklist is complete with Calnet IT Solutions
Calnet IT Solutions is the perfect solution to protect against these ever-evolving threats.
Partnering your business with us means that you can rest easy knowing all of your cyber security needs are taken care of – our status as a Microsoft Gold Partner demonstrates that we prioritise the needs of our customers.
Contact us today to learn more about how our proactive, cost-effective, and dependable services can help protect your business.