Cyber security checklist for remote workers

With the rise of remote work, prioritising cybersecurity at home has become increasingly important. Protecting your work devices and sensitive data is crucial for maintaining a safe and productive work environment. This blog post provides an easy-to-follow checklist to enhance your cybersecurity while working from home. We’ll also discuss the benefits of having a separate work network and why it’s essential to keep your personal and professional devices isolated.

  1. Secure Your Wi-Fi Network:
  • Change the default password of your home router to a strong, unique passphrase.
  • Enable WPA2 or WPA3 encryption to protect your wireless network.
  • Regularly update your router’s firmware to patch security vulnerabilities.
  • Disable remote management to prevent unauthorised access to your router.

2. Create a Separate Work Network:

  • Set up a dedicated network for your work devices, such as a virtual LAN (VLAN) or a separate physical network.
  • Connect your work devices exclusively to this network, keeping them isolated from personal devices.
  • This separation prevents potential malware infections on personal devices from spreading to your work devices.

3. Utilise Strong Authentication:

  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible, adding an extra layer of security to your accounts.
  • Use unique, complex passwords for all your accounts and consider employing a password manager to securely store them.
  • Regularly change your passwords and avoid reusing them across multiple accounts.

4. Update and Patch Regularly:

  • Keep all your devices, including operating systems, applications, and security software, up to date with the latest patches.
  • Enable automatic updates whenever possible to ensure timely protection against emerging threats.
  • Regularly check for firmware updates for your router and other network devices.

5. Employ Robust Antivirus and Firewall Solutions:

  • Install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on all your devices.
  • Enable firewalls on your computers and configure them to block unauthorised inbound and outbound network connections.
  • Regularly scan your devices for malware and remove any threats detected.

6. Secure Your Home Office Environment:

  • Lock your computer when stepping away, even for short periods, to prevent unauthorised access.
  • Keep sensitive documents and physical files stored securely and out of sight.
  • Install privacy filters on your screens to prevent shoulder surfing.

7. Encrypt Data and Back It Up:

  • Enable full-disk encryption on your work devices to protect data in case of theft or loss.
  • Regularly back up your important work files to an external hard drive, cloud storage, or a secure backup service.
  • Verify the encryption and security measures your chosen cloud storage provider provides.

8. Be Cautious with Emails and Links:

  • Exercise caution when opening emails or clicking links, particularly from unfamiliar sources or suspicious-looking emails.
  • Avoid downloading attachments or accessing links if uncertain about their authenticity.
  • Report phishing attempts or suspicious emails to your IT department or security team.

9. Educate Yourself on Cybersecurity Best Practices:

  • Stay updated with the latest cybersecurity news and emerging threats.
  • Participate in cybersecurity training programs or webinars to enhance your knowledge.
  • Share best practices with colleagues to strengthen your organisation’s security posture.

Following our checklist above can significantly enhance your cybersecurity while working from home. Establishing a separate work network provides an added layer of protection by isolating your work devices from personal devices, minimising the risk of malware infections and unauthorised access. Remember, cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, so encourage your colleagues and family members to adopt these practices.