5.7 Cybersecurity for hybrid working
When you were completely office-based, your organisation’s IT team probably took care of your cybersecurity needs. But if you’re now partly or entirely based at home, you need to pay more attention to cybersecurity threats yourself – not least because IT teams may also be working in a range of locations, which could affect the services they offer and their response times. Key principles to follow are:
- Use antivirus and internet security software – your organisation may be able to provide you with this, but if not, there are a range of free and paid-for options available.
- If you live with others – especially children – keep your devices locked or password protected when you are away from them.
- Consider covering your webcam when you’re not actively using it, as they can be accessed by hackers. If you use a separate webcam (i.e. not built in), unplug it when it’s not in use.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN). If you are accessing work servers from home, this is probably something your organisation already insists on.
- Use your organisation’s centralised cloud/server storage for important files, don’t just save them locally.
- Make sure your home Wi-Fi is secure, using a strong password. Information on this should’ve been provided with your router. Alternatively, your internet service provider (ISP) should have guidance on their website.
- Make video meetings private by requiring a password for entry, or only allowing someone with administrator permissions to admit guests – you may remember ‘Zoom bombing’ attacks hitting the headlines during the first lockdown.
- If possible, avoid working near any voice-controlled devices to avoid the possibility of remote listening-in.
- Be conscious of what’s visible behind you during video calls. You may want to use a physical screen or virtual on-screen blurring to avoid revealing sensitive or personal artefacts.
- Use strong and secure passwords.
- Make sure software and operating systems are up to date and have the latest security patches installed.