While countries worldwide are fighting COVID-19, a new challenge has emerged for professionals working from home. In efforts to hinder the spread of the coronavirus, many businesses are mandating employees to stay home. However, this may not be an ideal situation for cybersecurity as it could open possibilities for various cyber crimes. AhnLab has announced seven security tips to better secure your cyber environment amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
1. Make sure all of your software and OS are updated
It is important that all software, including Operating System (OS), Internet Browser, and application program, be up-to-date. If not, you could be exposed to a lot of cyber threats.
2. Install anti-malware and enable automatic updates
Anti-virus software, such as V3, must be installed with automatic updates and real-time detection to keep your PC safe in a remote working environment.
3. Always be careful when using SSL VPN connection
When working from home, you may need to use an SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network) to access the internal network of your business or to keep your data safe in a remote working environment.
Be sure to turn the VPN off when you are done using it. VPN provides convenience, but it could potentially be exploited as a back door if left unattended for a long time.
4. Always check before connecting to external websites
Be careful when connecting to external websites from your work PC. Connection to malicious websites could result in the download and execution of malware. Thus access to torrent, file-sharing, and other non-business sites must be avoided at all times to reduce the chance of being expoited by cybersecurity threats.
5. Ensure your router has the latest security update and settings
Update the firmware of the router before using it from home. A secure password must also be set and changed periodically for safety. Secure router passwords must include a combination of 8 or more digits with alphabets, numbers, and special characters. For more information regarding the router's security update, refer to the manufacturer's homepage.
6. Create a secure password
It is highly recommended that you set a secure password for your work PC while working from home. It is important to enable screen lock when the PC isn't used for a certain period. Also, documents must be locked with passwords to secure your data. If you cannot think of a secure password, use a favorite phrase from a movie or book. Pass-phrases are always stronger than passwords!
7. Be cautious of suspicious emails or attachments
One of the most commonly used mediums for malware distribution are emails. Recently, phishing emails disguised as WHO (World Health Organization) officials or real-time COVID-19 status programs have been actively distributed to encourage users to click on the email attachment and download the malware. Thereby, it is critical to always be cautious of suspicious emails or attachments.