So – we’re all working from home (WFH). No surprises that there are new distractions alongside quite a few challenges including bandwidth. Our meetup last week (26/27 March) talked about a number of these issues and reviewed the distraction strategies covered in the week before.

Our discussions considered one of the other fundamental issues created by #suddenlyremote working – how secure is your home infrastructure? Some people, many of those who already do some kind of flexible work, had VPNs and company equipment. Many did not and were relying on their personal devices, laptops, shared desktops, mobiles and tablets. And then, we added the challenge of multiple people in the home. As much as we all thought we were quite good with our practices – our vulnerabilities were soon exposed by our guest expert, Lee Booy.

Lee identified 6 aspects that had the highest likelihood of vulnerability:

1 – Patch all your devices
Are all your devices updated with the most current patches? Keep them secure – check them all now, even if you have them on auto-update.

2 – Use a password manager
oh oh – this is where there was quite a lot of shuffling and awkward looks shared amongst the group. Lee spent some time explaining how the password managers worked and insisted we all have one installed before the next meetup! (Homework!)

3 – Enable MFA on any critical account
And along with passwords, multi-factor authentication was a must. Lee pointed out that many of us probably rely on sms codes, but if you’re travelling, you may not be able to get those codes. So setup up 2 methods, maybe email as a backup but also the use of an authenticator app.

4 – Don’t click that link, be vigilant for phishing emails or scams
This is one of my pet issues – particularly having received so many posts from friends containing misinformation about COVID-19. But it’s also a time when we’re a little more gullible and willing or exposed to clever scams that ask you to donate, share your details or take some kind of action that will ultimately leave your personal identity details (particularly passwords if you’re not using a password manager) exposed.

5 – Lock your laptop anytime you walk away
If you’re using a workplace issued laptop or even your own laptop but share it with others – and we heard about people who might think that letting their kids just play a few games couldn’t cause any harm – then you’re also leaving your workplace programs vulnerable for hacking. Or your kid might reply to a Slack message on your behalf!!!

Lee insisted that we stop sharing and lock your system every time you move away from it. Tricky sometimes – but a must.

6 – Secure your home router
And then, how many people have bothered to secure their home router? And we don’t just mean changing the password from admin to something else. Lee advised us to ensure we were using WPA and disable WPS. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Check with your provider or someone that can help you!

These simple, but significant key steps could make your home infrastructure secure and avoid any loss of data or hacks into your systems.

Our next meeting will be Thu 2nd/Fri 3rd April (depending upon your timezone) and we’re going start exploring the new ways of working, what will it imply for your work when we finally return to normal (whatever that’s going to be).

Join us this week – details here.


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