HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CYBER-ATTACKS IN THE INDUSTRY?
It has nearly been a month since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic and most countries have been living in a lockdown situation in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. During this time of unprecedented disruption, the world’s Government has asked anyone, who is able to, to work from home.
Thankfully, for many in our industry, this isn’t an issue and there will be particular roles that we can continue to carry on with as normal. Often, IT contractors work remotely and many even have home offices, so lots of people are lucky in this sense. However, if you are going to be working from for the first time then you will probably have a range of questions and worries running through your head. It isn’t uncommon for one of these concerns to be cybersecurity.
It goes without saying that working from home means that you will be potentially using different devices to carry out your work and you may not have your usual protection of an encrypted server. There will also be an increase in the use of online conferencing platforms too and unsurprisingly, this gives hackers more opportunities and lots of new potential targets. As expected, because of this, some cybersecurity research firms are predicting a spike in hackers targeting businesses during this pandemic.
Protecting yourself from cyber-attacks
Whilst the risks may be higher, there are still certain things you can do to protect both yourself and the company you’re currently working for from cyber-attacks whilst you’re working at home. Ideally, you should;
- Maintain good security hygiene - update your passwords to something stronger, or complex, and use multi-factor authentication where possible.
- Undertake updates - ensure that you complete any required system or software updates when notified that they are ready.
- Be wary of coronavirus -related scams - avoid clicking on any links sent by email or even by text that don’t seem genuine, there are lots of scams already doing the rounds.
- Explore VPN services - Using a virtual private network lets you share data as if you are connected to a shared private network and it can provide you with additional protection.
- Don’t mix business and pleasure - never access business files or undertake work on a personal device and visa versa.
- Update your cyber security knowledge - In an increasingly digital world, updating your cyber security knowledge is essential to protect yourself from cyber-attacks. Stay informed about the latest threats, use strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and be cautious with emails and downloads. Your online safety depends on it. To further strengthen your cybersecurity expertise, consider enrolling in courses like Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and ISO 27001. These courses will not only help you stay up-to-date with industry best practices but also upgrade your skills to effectively safeguard your digital presence.
All of these steps are incredibly straightforward for IT contractors yet, they can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting yourself from cyber-attacks. These straightforward entry-level steps should address the most common security risks that people face when working from home. However, you need to be extra vigilant at times like these as, unfortunately, these criminals won’t hesitate to exploit tragedies like this pandemic.
Working from home during COVID 19
As mentioned above, thankfully many IT contractors are still able to work from home, and if you can then it is beneficial to continue to offer your services to companies that may require your expertise. There are many companies still searching for particular services that IT contractors can offer and of course, it is always worthwhile to take advantage of new networking opportunities.
If you are self-employed or a freelance IT contractor and you plan on working from home throughout the pandemic then our team here at Techfynder may be able to help. Our platform will be running as normal throughout this time continually connecting IT contractors with companies globally based on profile, experience, rates and location. So, don’t hesitate to sign up for our platform here if you haven’t already done so.