Remote Control: Prioritizing Cybersecurity in the Hybrid Workplace

As a 2021 Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champion, Ostra is proud to help shed more light on security vulnerabilities and help secure our interconnected world.

In cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance, Ostra Cybersecurity invites our clients and partners to join us as we continue to use the month of October to spread more awareness and take action to protect the valuable data that is online.

Below are tips to help guide our community to better data privacy in the world of remote work. These tips are more relevant than ever, as remote and hybrid workforces continue to shape how companies interact with their employees and customers.

Remote Working Trends

In this day and age, employees are more connected than ever. The hybrid workplace is here to stay, and for employees, this means relying on connected devices from their home office setups.

According to recent data, smart home systems are set to rise to a market value of $157 billion by 2023, and the number of installed connected devices in the home is expected to rise by a staggering 70% by 2025. In this new normal where smart devices and consequently online safety are a must, here are some tips for securing those devices.

Remember smart devices need smart security

Make cybersecurity a priority when purchasing a connected device. When setting up a new device, be sure to set up the privacy and security settings on web services and devices bearing in mind that you can limit who you are sharing information with. Once your device is set up, remember to keep tabs on how secure the information is that you store on it, and to actively manage location services so as not to unwittingly expose your location.

Put cybersecurity first in your job

Make cybersecurity a priority when you are brought into a new role. Good online hygiene should be part of any organization’s onboarding process, but if it is not, then take it upon yourself to exercise best practices to keep your company safe.

Cybersecurity has become a loaded concept. There are so many things to consider when protecting your data—whether you are working at home, remotely/on the road, or in a traditional office setting.

Some basic precautions include performing regular software updates, and enabling MFAs. You can also contact Ostra to explore how a cybersecurity assessment can reveal what vulnerabilities you may have, and how you can stay ahead of threats.

Make passwords and passphrases long and strong

Whether or not the website you are on requires it, be sure to combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create the most secure password. Generic passwords are easy to hack. If you need help remembering and storing your passwords, don’t hesitate to turn to a password manager for assistance.

If you are a business owner, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect your most valuable asset—your data, and your clients’ data.

Malware attacks, phishing scams and ransomware events are increasingly targeting small and medium-sized businesses. Being prepared and preventing these disruptions is not just about convenience; it can be a matter of survival. Check out our blog, Why Cybersecurity Should Be On Every Business Owner’s Radar, for tips on how you can protect your business.

Never use public computers to log in to any accounts

While working from home, you may be tempted to change scenery and work from a coffee shop or another type of public space. While this is a great way to keep the day from becoming monotonous, caution must be exercised to protect yourself and your company from harm’s way. Make sure that security is top of mind always, and especially while working in a public setting, by keeping activities as generic and anonymous as possible.

Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when idle

The uncomfortable truth is, when WiFi and Bluetooth are on, they can connect and track your whereabouts. To stay as safe as possible, if you do not need them, switch them off. It’s a simple step that can help alleviate tracking concerns and incidents.

These are just a few simple steps towards achieving the best online safety possible. Staying safe online is an active process that requires constant overseeing at every stage – from purchasing and setting up a device, to making sure that your day-to-day activities are not putting anyone at risk. By following these steps, you are doing your part to keep yourself and your company safe from malicious online activity.

To learn some additional ways to protect your data while working remotely, check out our 2021 Cybersecurity Strategies blog.

What is Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

Now in its 18th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues to build momentum and impact with the ultimate goal of providing everyone with the information they need to stay safer and more secure online.

The Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champions Program is a collaborative effort among businesses, government agencies, colleges and universities, associations, nonprofit organizations and individuals committed to the Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme of ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.’

As a 2021 Champion, Ostra supports this far-reaching online safety awareness and education initiative which is co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Contact Ostra for a free cybersecurity assessment or to explore how you can stay ahead of threats.