As the planet reels from the rapid spread and pervasive impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s crucial that you take steps to protect not just your business and your staff, but also your IT system. COVID-19 may have forced the United States and much of the world to take a reluctant pause, but it’s also become an opportunity for hackers to extort money or steal data from vulnerable and unprepared organizations.

Just as it’s crucial to wash your hands to minimize your risk of getting infected with coronavirus, so should you observe these cybersecurity best practices to keep your IT system safe from cyberthreats.

#1. Be prepared for hackers
Never the type of people to be slowed down by a pandemic, hackers are using COVID-19 to launch coronavirus-themed scams and cyberattacks, even against the already beleaguered healthcare sector. Considering people’s fear and paranoia, it’s become much easier for them to manipulate their victims into visiting fake websites or downloading files that promise a cure from the disease.

Do not be surprised if you find your inbox inundated by emails about the coronavirus. To protect your computer and your network, open only those emails that come from senders you’re familiar with. Take note, however, that hackers will have no problem masquerading as reputable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), just to get your data.

That said, make sure you’re not the only one taking precautions. Educate your staff on what they need to do should they encounter suspicious emails and how they can contribute to your IT system’s security.

#2. Assess your wire transfer policies
The coronavirus means people are proactively avoiding public places, so many companies now allow their staff to work from home. If you adopt the same strategy, make sure to clarify your policies regarding wire transfers.

It’s best to avoid discussing your wire transfer policies through unsecure, company-wide emails. If you must, just inform your staff whether you are changing your policies or not. Include no sensitive details, such as account and identification numbers. Should your policy change, discuss the matter through a phone call to mitigate the risk of fraud.

Your staff might receive legitimate-looking emails detailing wire transfer procedures. Clarify that you’ll never ask for their private information and tell them to inform you should they receive such an email.

#3. Implement MFA
You can’t see your employees as they work remotely, so there’s a risk that the person logged in to your system is a hacker and not your staff. You can minimize the risk of this occurring by implementing multifactor authentication (MFA).

MFA requires users to provide additional authentication factors besides their username-password combination. These factors could be a one-time password (OTP) or a verification code sent to their mobile phone, or a face scan or fingerprint. Microsoft says MFA can help prevent 99.9% of account compromise attacks.

#4. Use encryption
Encryption adds an extra layer of protection for your network if your employees use laptops to do their job. In the instance that the machine is lost or compromised, encryption will render its contents unreadable and, therefore, useless to malicious parties. Encryption is possible using special hardware and software.

How can an MSP help you?

A managed IT services provider (MSP) can help make your transition to operating outside the office easier. An MSP can be a great help in fortifying your business against cyberattacks during this crisis.

For instance, encryption solutions for your employees’ laptops can be tricky, but your MSP’s experts can help you find and install one that suits your needs and budget. Your provider also conducts proactive monitoring and maintenance to ensure that you and your staff can work remotely without any setbacks.

At Tech Squared, our IT experts are dedicated to helping your company overcome the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. We do this by keeping your network secure and functioning optimally so you can focus on growing your business and serving your customers. Discover how our services can help keep your team productive by downloading this eBook today!

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