As many of you begin a new week, your work space may look very different. You might be rolling out of bed and walking down the hall to your home office, or popping open your laptop at the kitchen table. Many employers here in Missouri are telling their employees to stay home, especially those with the ability to work remote. Big or small, these companies don’t want to risk an entire workforce getting sick. Saturday, I read an article on thehill.com about hackers finding fresh targets in this new remote workforce. It made several recommendations that employers and employees should hear and take action on.
- Update network and devices with the “latest software patches and security configurations”.
- Beware of phishing emails. Hackers will use Coronavirus (COVID-19) fears to tempt employees to open emails designed to steal their usernames and passwords.
- Stay away from public WiFi
You can find The Hill article HERE.
From an insurance and risk management perspective, here are my recommendations.
- If you receive a suspicious email, simply don’t open it and definitely don’t click any links contained in it. Also, avoid clicking on links you see on social media sites.
- Avoid public WiFi. Also consider setting up a separate network at home for your work.
- Don’t use personal devices for work. If you have a work computer, keep all work there and avoid transferring data to any personal devices.
- Immediately communicate the risks to your remote workforce. Simply making them aware of these potential threats can go a long way. Also, encourage them to be open with you if they feel they’ve been targeted, or their system has been compromised.
- Provide security awareness training to your employees. This can be done virtually by HR or an IT department (or third party).
- If you haven’t already, communicate with your internal or 3rd party IT provider to determine security best practices for remote workers. Also confirm if any security configurations or software updates need to be addressed.
- Review your Cyber Insurance policy with your broker. Understand coverage, claim reporting procedures and any risk control services the company can provide. Knowing how to respond to an incident quickly can be important in minimizing the damage. Don’t have a Cyber Insurance policy? I encourage you to talk to someone that specializes in this coverage today. This is one of the fastest growing risks to your business. It’s no longer IF you’ll be targeted but WHEN.
These recommendations are important for any type of organization whether for-profit, not-for-profit, big or small. We encourage you to work with someone, like Walker-Winter Insurance, who specializes in cyber insurance. We tailor coverage around your business. We can also provide training and education to you and your employees to minimize the risk.