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The number of people working from home has gradually increased over time. However in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic this has now increased exponentially. Thankfully, technology has advanced over recent years to make this possible through the use cloud applications, video conferencing and file sharing.

Unfortunately, remote working can create security challenges for your business. It is important that you and your staff are aware of the risks involved with remote working.

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Phishing Attacks

One of the biggest security risks to remote workers are Phishing Attacks. These attacks are typically from a cyber criminal pretending to be an organisation that many people have daily contact with, such as your mobile phone company or Amazon, The criminal will be trying to elicit personal information.

Common scams in a business environment are that you may receive an email apparently from your CFO or MD asking you to pay an invoice or containing a malicious attachment. It could even be an email that looks like a familiar supplier saying that an invoice wasn’t paid. This may seem like a regular day-to-day email for someone working in the finance department but you may have unknowingly transacted money with a cyber criminal or potentially infected the business systems with harmful software.

Tips for spotting a Phishing Email


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Out of Date Software

Every month developers discover bugs in their software. Typically they release updates on a regular basis to correct any outstanding issues but also to patch new found vulnerabilities which otherwise lead to security risks. Unfortunatley ensuring that your software and your operating system are up to date is quite a boring task and is often neglected. This leads to a greater risk of cyber attack.

This is where M-Piric’s Patch Management would come in handy. This task can be handled by our experts remotely, to ensure that all of your systems are kept up-to-date and without affecting productivity within the business.

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Shared Devices

This can be difficult to avoid in normal times and even more so during Lockdown, when children are home schooling. Although you and your team may be cyber aware, other members of the household may not. Therefore, when someone needs to quickly jump on the laptop to print something, are they inserting a non-work USB? What else is on that USB? Are they downloading a file from an email? If so, where did it come from? What web sites are the children visiting during down time?

Shared computers create a greater security risk to the business and could lead to a data breach. Sharing  your work device should be avoided and you should also avoid accessing personal files or accounts and saving passwords to any shared device.

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Unsecure Networks

Businesses typically co-ordinate with IT specialists to ensure that their IT infrastructure is secured and monitored using network monitoring and cyber security tools to mitigate threats. However, now that staff are mostly working beyond the office network, they need enhanced security.

When connecting to a non-work related network make sure your computer knows it is a Public or Guest network you are connecting to so that it will automatically disable network discovery and file sharing. This is recommended not just for coffee shops but also at home where there may be other devices that could contain malicious software which could transfer via the home network.

To help minimise risk we recommened that users connect to a VPN. A Virtual Proxy Network will create a tunnel from the users device to the office network. With the VPN enabled, any data sent back and forth is protected by encryption and security protocols.

You should also avoid accessing financial sites when on public networks. This is due to Wi-Fi spoofing. Cyber criminals can create a spoof network with the same name as a free public wi-fi such as BT Wi-Fi, o2 W-Fi or McDonalds etc. From your perspective, you believe that you are connected to the Internet as normal, but actally all your data is running through a cyber criminals system and they are capturing every key stroke that you make.

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The world is forever changing and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed how organisations operate for the forseeable future.

If you need help or advice on how to implement remote working for your organisation, protect your data and to keep your employees secure. Then, please get in touch with M-Piric today.