Don't Be A Sitting Duck!

Don't Be A Sitting Duck!

By : Dalia E Paratore Harrison

In this interconnected world our threat is magnified by that very connectedness. Meaning, your company can have the most advanced cybersecurity measures in place but perhaps the vendors or the clients that you work with are not as airtight as you might think. It may also be the case that your company is the loose cannon in this supply chain scenario. The good news is that if your company is lax in its cybersecurity and compliance there are measures you can take now to remedy this. And if you work within the supply chain space with the federal government you must be CMMC or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification compliant.

But what does cybersecurity mean and what are the threats? Cybersecurity pertains to information and systems that store and process information in an electronic form. This does not address information security as a whole, which could encompass all forms of data such as passwords written on paper. In this piece I want to address something that we are all currently most likely doing: working from home because of Covid-19.

In this time of more and more people having to work remotely, your business is only as safe as the security measures your employees have in place in their homes. Here are a few tips for telecommuting individuals:

1.     Multifactor Authentication: With more and more people having to telecommute because of Covid-19, data loss is a very real threat. When employing MFA, usually a two-factor authentication is enough; this means that when logging in or changing or replacing a password, two pieces of credentials must be presented: such as a text message with a one-time number, a physical token or some form of biometrics.

2.     Vulnerabilities scanning: It’s so important to make sure that at your home office you are running scans for vulnerability. The scanning process includes detecting and classifying system weaknesses in networks, communications equipment, and computers. Some examples are Window Defender and Malware Bytes.

3.     VPN: Protect your laptops and PCs with your own virtual private network which allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the internet. Meaning that this connection is encrypted and allows you to access a business network securely, your home network while away from home, hide your browsing activity when on public Wi-Fi, access geo-blocked sites and bypass internet censorship.

4.     Data Segmentation: Network segmentation in computer networking is the practice of splitting a computer network into subnetworks, each being a network segment. For example, when using a home network that is being shared for work and also by children in the home, these should be split into subnetworks. Especially with kids doing schooling from home and spending more time online, they do tend to click on links that may not be the safest.

5.     Advanced modem: when working from home it is a good practice to purchase a business grade modem and not use the one provided by your ISP (internet service provider). It creates an extra layer of protection. 

Last note: the telecommuting trend may continue even after current restrictions are lifted. Businesses have seen that ‘business’ itself can be conducted remotely. While networking, in-face client meetings, product demonstrations and events will most likely always be more effective in person, it does not mean that many of these cannot also be conducted virtually to great success. They also present a cost savings. We will spend more time at home, behind our computers, period. The companies that we work with, the vendors that we collaborate with, the clients that trust us, the government agencies that we may contract with all deserve to know that we are doing our utmost to follow appropriate cybersecurity protocols. And if you are part of the governmental supply chain you will have to read up on extra measures for your company regarding CMMC. More on that in the next article!

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