Keeping Cyber Criminals Away from Remote Employees

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Velocity Risk Underwriters, like many corporations, has moved to a work from home environment to keep our employees safe and to help flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the virus. While working from home has many advantages for employees, including no dress code and keeping pets company throughout the day, there are many disadvantages, including the concern that cyber criminals will take advantage of vulnerable systems and unsuspecting employees.

Experts agree that cyber crime is at an increase. A study by Cynet found a correlation between rising cases of COVID-19 in Italy and increasing cyber attacks on remote workers. Cynet analyzed its aggregate company data in Italy and found that companies with higher proportions of employees working remotely due to COVID-19 cases saw a rise in phishing attacks, compared to countries with fewer attacks.[1]

At Velocity, we take cyber security seriously and make sure our cyber health is in the best shape it can be:

  • All employees are required to use Multi-Factor authentication
  • Devices are required to comply with policy and healthy (current software and updates/patches installed)
  • Virtual Desktops provide the same experience at home as they do in the office
  • Robust endpoint protection and logging to reduce the time from notification of an issue to resolution of an issue

In addition, we provided our employees with suggestions and requirements to avoid becoming victims of a cyberattack while working from home. And if an employee does experience an issue or suspect unauthorized access, they know to report it immediately, to ensure it can be resolved quickly.

  • Use only company approved methods of connecting to your workplace
  • Multi-Factor authentication is critical in preventing breaches and attacks
  • Be extra cautious when it comes to opening email attachments, clicking on links, downloading files or responding to emails that are unexpected and relate to current events
    • Keep work and personal data separate – Refrain from using personal email on company devices
    • Update your personal devices – Install all patches, hotfixes, and updates to the operating system and applications
  • Set a unique password for your personal Wi-Fi network and use encryption
  • Configure a unique password for your Wi-Fi router/device (the default passwords are commonly known and used to exploit these devices)
  • Do not use public Wi-Fi networks
  • If you are working with any physical documents or printing sensitive information, ensure that you have a secure locked location to store them while at home
  • Children and pets can be a surprising threat; accidental or playful keyboard presses could result in a deleted document or unfinished email being sent
  • Password managers are there to ensure unique secure passwords for all the sites and services we use. If your company offers one, take advantage and use it

[1] COVID-19 impacting cyber security in Italy, says Cynet study