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This pandemic has changed the way we work; many workplaces have opted to work entirely remote or hybrid. While some Canadians transition back to the office, there are still many that will continue to work remotely. The internet has allowed many Canadians and businesses to adopt different approaches to the way we work. For the third week of Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM), we explore working and networking by focusing on:

  • Using Wi-Fi Safely
  • Setting up a secure home network
  • Workplace cyber threats

Using Wi-Fi Safely

Whether you work at the office or from home, it is important to know how you can browse the internet safely and strengthen your network connection. The following tips serve as a basic guide to using Wi-Fi safely:

  • Do not visit malicious sites, use websites with HTTPS protocols
  • Avoid phishing scams
  • Use caution around public Wi-Fi
  • Never connect to an unfamiliar network
  • Use data encryption services
  • Use a VPN
  • Update your antivirus and antimalware software
  • Ensure you have a good firewall

Setting Up a Secure Home Network

There is no doubt having access to a secure Wi-Fi network provides us with unlimited benefits. It is important to take basic steps to secure your Wi-Fi network to protect your devices and data from potential cyberattacks.

The following 9 steps* will walk you through the basic steps to secure your Wi-Fi network.

*  The following steps have been sourced from getcybersafe.ca. Every router is different and if you are having issues, visit the manufacturer’s website.

Step 1: Open your router console

While connected to Wi-Fi, enter your router’s IP address into the address bar on your internet browser.

Step 2: Log in

Enter your username and password. These credentials are usually found on the back of your router or the manufacturer’s website if they haven’t been changed.

Step 3: Find the security settings

The security settings may also be called “Wireless Security”.

Step 4: Rename your router

Rename your router but be sure not to include any personal information.

Step 5: Use a passphrase

Use a complex passphrase for your router’s password.

Step 6: Change your encryption

Under the Network Authentication setting, choose WPA2.

Step 7: Create a guest network

Keep your business network protected. Create a separate guest network to allow your visitors access to the internet, but not your corporate information. To do this, turn on the guest network in your settings and give the new network a unique name and password.

Step 8: Save your settings

Be sure to click “Save” or “Apply” to save your new changes.

Step 9: Get connected again

Connect your devices to your new network.

Workplace Cyber Threats

Cyber threats can hit an individual or organization at any time! In fact, each year cybercrime increases and in 2021 it is estimated there will be a cyber-attack every 11 seconds. Common workplace cyber security challenges include:

Phishing – Phishing is the act of tricking a user into disclosing confidential information through malicious links or attachments. Phishing can take on many forms, with email being the most common medium. A survey from F5 labs says that there is a 5% increase in phishing incidents due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ransomware – Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access. Its attack is serious even for a single device. It can endanger the entire business if it is spread to the entire network. It is often spread when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge

Malware– Malware is software that is designed to interfere with, damage, or gains unauthorized access to a computer system. It is one of the biggest online threats facing remote workforces today. Typically, malware is installed on a computer when a user clicks on a link, downloads a malicious attachment, or opens a rogue software program. Once installed, attackers can use the malware to spy on your online activities, steal personal and financial information or use your device to hack other systems.

Hacking – Hacking is gaining unauthorized access to your device(s) and is a common risk for devices that are not updated. With software and operating system updates becoming frequently available it can be difficult to keep up with the updates. However, failing to update leaves your devices and your network vulnerable to hacking. Most smart devices give push notifications and reminders when it’s time to update, and some will allow you to schedule automatic updates.

Protect Your Business Network

One of the best ways you can protect your business network is to create a cybersecurity plan for your organization. A cybersecurity plan works to educate yourself as a business owner and your employees to keep your business network secure.

Businesses tend to be an ideal target due to their wealth of corporate data stored on their network(s). Attackers will target businesses because there are multiple points of entry with many employees working together on a network.

What should you include in a cybersecurity plan for your business?

To best prepare your business and your employees for cybersecurity, your cybersecurity plan should establish:

With evolving cyber security practices, it’s important to keep your cybersecurity plan up to date. Consult the experts at AlphaKOR about getting your comprehensive cybersecurity plan.

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