Cyber Aware’s essential safety tips for returning to the workplace

As new cases of COVID-19 remain low, and discussions of lowered restrictions populate Australian news, it’s time that we take a step back and consider the new security challenges during our return to the office.

This pandemic has driven huge, immediate change at both a societal and cultural level. Within our own businesses, many of us have discovered a capability to keep the ship afloat without the benefits of the office, and a lot of workers will find themselves comfortably working from home on a regular basis.

While some predict that work-from-home is the new norm, and others are forecasting a mass return to the workplace, the reality is that we’ll likely land somewhere in between, especially while we work out the kinks of social distancing and beating this pandemic.

As such, Cyber Aware recommends that any workers, whether you’re frequenting the workplace or the lounge room, follow these key safety steps:

  • Be cautious as to the devices you bring between the office and home. Just because your battery died and you had to use your home-laptop, doesn’t mean that it’s fit for use in the office. If your home device has a virus or any malicious content on it, bringing it to the office can expose the whole network. BYOD policy can seem trivial, but it’s been responsible for bringing down entire nuclear facilities, let alone your workplace. And, on that note:
  • Keep your work and personal devices separate! Not only will it be embarrassing to bring up your teenager’s search history during a work meeting, but it’s also a huge risk to access corporate, confidential data on the same device where your family browses the web & downloads unknown content.
  • Moving back to the office, it is a good idea to not only utilise a VPN at home but at all times. A common form of attack, especially for larger workplaces, will be fake wi-fi and network compromise. Stay ahead of this by connecting to your business network through a secure tunnel, a VPN. (If you’re in a managerial position, we’ve always been huge fans of HackHunter for weeding out fake wi-fi devices).
  • I think it’s safe to say that things have gotten a little bit laissez-faire during the lockdown. With so many distractions at home, the 9 to 5 has started to look more like a 12 to 12 with fifty breaks in between. Whether this is for better or worse, one thing is for certain; break any habits of using social media for work purposes. Simply put, any new platform you put work-data on is another platform it can be stolen or compromised through. Facebook and Gmail are not suitable avenues for delivering private data.

And of course, continue to maintain physical distancing measures, and continue to regularly wash your hands. The main point of lockdown was to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system; the virus is still a major concern regardless of current lockdown measures, so keep your physical safety and wellbeing as a top priority.

For more information on reducing risk and working from home, visit cyberaware.com/remote

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