Working from home- How secure is it?

Vimal Ramachandran, Director

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The current health crisis the world is witnessing today is truly unexpected and unfortunate. We have never experienced a crisis like this before that forced us to confine within the four walls of our house. When you know something like this is going to happen, you can plan things accordingly, be it related to your personal life or professional. But COVID-19 pandemic didn’t give us time to prepare. Before we could realize what was happening, the entire world entered into a lockdown.

Security

Most of the employees have started to work from home and this might pose certain challenges, specifically on the security front. There are chances of risks and the security team of an organization must identify the common risks that might arise when employees are working remotely. The security team should coordinate with the communication team and the latter must train the employees on the risks and how to manage them. This will simplify the process of security and motivate employees.

Even after training employees on these, they might encounter problems with regard to security and will be in need of help. It is always advisable to answer their queries in real-time using technology or forum, such as e-mail, Skype, teams or any such platform. This will make security as approachable as possible and will enable the security team to quickly identify and respond to incidents.

Social engineering

The platform you are using to answer queries should have strong authentication mechanisms; otherwise cyber attackers will see this as an opportunity to socially engineer these platforms.

Social engineering attacks are one of the greatest risks that will arise when employees work from home. The user will be prompted to make a mistake, without their knowledge and during a time like this, when you get numerous calls and emails related to the pandemic, it will be much easier to trick the user. Chances of overlooking these scams are high. The solution is to train employees on what social engineering is, how to identify it and what to do once you identify one. Even though phishing is the most common form of cyber attack, there are other modes as well and employees should be aware of these.

Strong Passwords

Weak passwords have always been one of the top reasons for security breaches and it makes the job of hacker pretty much easier. Below listed are four key behaviors to manage this risk;

  • Passphrases: Compared to passwords these are comparatively longer and ensures added security.
  • Unique passwords for all accounts: Do not give the same password to all the accounts; they should be unique and strong.
  • Password managers: This helps in storing and managing online credentials.
  • MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication): User is given access only after successfully entering two or more independent credentials.

Updated systems

The security team must see to it that the employees are using the latest version of the operating system, applications and mobile apps. Everything should be updated, as updation helps in patching security holes.

Tips

Here are some tips for you that can be useful while working from home;

  • Here are some tips for you that can be useful while working from home;
  • Change the default admin password, enable WPA2 encryption and use a strong password for your wireless network
  • All the devices connected to home network must be protected by a strong password and should be updated. Systems should be locked while you are not using it
  • Both the operating system and applications must be patched and updated
  • Do not discuss any confidential details with clients in public
  • Keep your system in a secure place and also ensure to keep your screen private. Position it away from other people
  • Do not access any internet sites other than the access required
  • Inform IT department if you come across any abnormal activity through emails or systems
  • If you are sharing any confidential information via emails, protect it with a password. Share the password with the user in person and not through email.
  • Do not use official laptop for personal use (internet or unauthorized applications or software) and avoid carrying laptop to public places to work.

Above all, one should have the common sense to differentiate between genuine things and scams. It is easy to fall prey to scams, but difficult to get out of one.

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Mohamed Sheriff
Mohamed Sheriff
16:16 28 Jun 20
Experience with HLB Hamt in audit experience is great pleasure. They deploy well qualified accounts team for audits.... And the amount of checking they perform give the management of the company confidence that internal controls are well in place. We are glad to see they have high standard of audit practices.read more
218141 JOSEPH THOMAS
218141 JOSEPH THOMAS
16:20 23 Jun 20
Professionally managed firm with commitment to the engagements taken. My company and its group are assigning our... requirements for last 12 years to HLB and we don’t have any negative remarks on any assignments.read more
PMI
PMI
07:14 23 Jun 20
In my opinion, HLB Hamt is one of the best professional firms in UAE after big4. Excellent client service, professional... and competent staff and timely delivery are their strength. Over the years they have developed the infrastructure and skill set to handle multiple verticals ie, audit, tax services, consulting, IT support etc. Wishing HLB Hamt team all the very best.read more
RAVI CHOKSI
RAVI CHOKSI
08:28 21 Jun 20
Thank you Team HLB hamt...Your internal auditing team put the good amount of time and inputs in helping the... organisation making considerable improvements throughout the organisational working structure and helps in building the better business.Thanks.read more
Maharajan Subramaniam
Maharajan Subramaniam
18:17 06 Jun 20
High-Performing IT Teams, I'm impressed with the knowledge level of their deputed staff, audit procedures, and... checklist adopted. Mr. Vimal especially understand the requirement and provide solution not only technical feasibility and also considered budgeting. We’re confident in their abilities.read more
Mohammed L
Mohammed L
08:07 05 Jun 20
We have been working closely with them on payroll services for quite sometime.They provide very professional... services,experts in domain and excellent support. Would recommend them.Cheers.read more
ROY ROSHAN VIVIAN
ROY ROSHAN VIVIAN
06:32 04 Jun 20
Very professional team. Vimal has always given us good solution advice for various Software and IT Infra projects. We... are very Extremely satisfied working with him and his team. Wishing them success.read more
Basil Daniells
Basil Daniells
05:55 03 Jun 20
I have worked with HLB as a partner of Sage for about 2 years, they were dedicated to the success of the partnership... and kept aligned with the business plan that was agreed between our two companies. They are always ready to go the extra mile for a customer and don’t shy away from challenging circumstances. Keep up the good work and wish you all the success in the future.read more
Amar Kashyap
Amar Kashyap
19:28 02 Jun 20
Team of well qualified and organised professionals. Their reports are not based on numbers first they will understand... their client and their business. They are highly recommended and trust worthy.read more
Radz de Jesus
Radz de Jesus
16:03 02 Jun 20
We're glad to have found HLB Hamt to conduct the IT audit and risk assessment for our organization. We have learned a... lot from their team during that first project. And since then, we've continued to be in touch with them. Mr. Vimal especially is very good at presenting technical concepts in simple yet interesting ways that non-IT and business people alike would easily catch. We are very happy with the professionalism and quality of service they provide. They leave their clients nothing short of satisfied. Highly recommended.read more
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