Top 3 tips to stay cyber-safe while working from home during COVID-19

Companies around the world are faced with unprecedented technical challenges and cybersecurity risks in relation to remote working due to the COVID-19. While the need to adopt social distancing and work-from-home policies is the most responsible way of conducting business in the wake of the pandemic, it is vital to put the right safety and security measures in place and anticipate potential threats from cyber criminals who are looking to capitalize on the vulnerability created by the situation of dispersed teams. 

At Cybertonica, it is our absolute priority to protect businesses small and large from fraudsters and their cybercriminal colleagues. Our research team has gathered an informational guideline to help businesses and employees stay cyber-safe while working from home. Here are the top 3 tips:

1. Pay extra attention to phishing e-mails and take safety measures to ensure secure remote working

The National Cyber Security Centre UK (NCSC), issued guidance on how to prepare organisations and staff for working from home. The NCSC advises to be highly vigilant against phishing emails and calls, particular attention is required for the cyber criminals impersonating IT staff, colleagues or top management. It is best to spend a couple minutes verifying the sources especially for messages that are titled ‘urgent’ or ‘quick response’. Additionally, always make sure to use secure network connections and if possible separate work and private accounts and devices. In cases of uncertainty establish an OOC confirmation as necessary for any instructions involving moving of funds or payment of invoices.

2. Implement multi-factor authentication to ensure identity and access management

In addition to securing home networks and devices for potential threats, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency of the United States, encourages companies to review remote access policies, secure all end-points and adopt real-time monitoring technologies to prevent data breaches or other cyber incidents that can cause financial or reputational damage. Implementing additional approval processes for access and using multi-factor authentication is highly recommended to safeguard confidential information. 

“Many companies struggle to create an effective cybersecurity scheme even during peaceful times. Fast transition to remote work and bring-your-own-device policies create pressure on IT teams due to the high spring of migration, lack of time for security scanning and penetration testing,” said our CTO and Co-Founder Sergey Velts. “For instance, to ensure business continuity businesses had to expose internal web services which were never assessed from a cybersecurity point of view before. For the next several weeks, companies are likely to find themselves in a race against time to quickly patch up vulnerabilities within their systems.”

“Remote work creates a big challenge for access control. People can compromise their credentials and/or confidential company information by having malware on their personal computers which makes it difficult for individuals and the companies to ensure proper antivirus protection,” commented our CEO and Co-Founder Joshua Bower-Saul. “In these settings, a quick and effective solution to deploy is adopting behaviour-based authentication technologies. Such solutions are usually faster to integrate and cheaper to implement compared to traditional security products. It is harder for malware to simulate a person’s behaviour.” 

3. Increase the level of both formal and informal communication between teams

It is essential for companies to increase the level of communication by engaging in regular video and audio calls between team members especially when they work remotely. Updating each other in management teams and operational teams on a regular basis is key.  While increasing the morale and motivation, having regular calls also enable employees to keep up to date on the current security issues and potential cyber threats. Harvard Business Review advises employers that they should remind their employees to only use applications pre-approved by the company and keep emergency contacts to have an alternate way of communicating with the key personnel around them. In the unfortunate event of a cyber-attack or systems shutting down, taking this measure will ensure all personnel is up to date with the events. 

“Fraudsters attack and continue to target the companies that have the weakest policies or security systems in place as their aim, like any businesses, is to attain the highest ROI for their time spent,” our Chief Commercial Officer Alan Nagle commented. “Businesses must approach the solution with multi-level application. They can do this by using secure operational process that double check payments combined with state-of-the-art technology that doesn’t sleep in its effort to catch fraudulent malware and behaviours. I have seen businesses lose over £250,000 in one single transaction by not protecting themselves against fraudulent threats and social engineering.”

By increasing employee savoir-faire and adopting the right real-time fraud management tools for your business, it is possible to ensure an environment where remote working can be done safely and securely for all parties involved. 

Stay cyber-safe everyone!

About Cybertonica 

Cybertonica uses Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to manage risk and fraud, increasing trust and growing frictionless banking and m/e-payments globally. Cybertonica’s service increases conversion and sales by up to 25% while managing card-not-present and other categories of fraud at world-class compliant standards.

Cybertonica has won numerous distinctions and awards since its product came to market, including the “Best Use of Payments Data Award” at Emerging Payments Awards 2018 and the “Best Data Analytics and Science Award” at Merchant Payments Ecosystem Awards 2018. Visit cybertonica.com to join us and build the future of Trust in Transaction™.

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