Wiltshire Police have reminded firms whose staff are relocating from business premises to homes to take extra security steps against cybercriminals.
"Due to the advancement of the coronavirus and subsequent advice from the Government, employees are increasingly encouraged to work from home or remotely, where possible," says the force's cybercrime unit.
"While this won’t be new to some, companies will likely have an increased number of employees working from home than normal and for a longer period of time."
Businesses with staff working off-site are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks.
"Ransomware is a malicious form of malware that encrypts your files and prevents you from accessing your computer, data or systems. It can spread throughout a network, potentially having a huge impact on an organisation," the police warn.
"Victims are often then asked to make a payment in order to gain access to files again. There is no guarantee paying will get access back, therefore it’s important to regularly back up your business-critical files and data, meaning you can recover your data without having to pay a ransom."
The unit has urged homeworkers to adopt the following security procedures.
- Change default passwords on your home Wi-Fi router to prevent hackers accessing your network.
- Use strong and unique passwords on every account and device. Consider using two-factor authentication (2FA) which is a second piece of evidence you provide to prove it’s definitely you logging in.
- Software updates contain vital security patches - keep all devices, apps and operating systems up to date.
- If you’re working in a more public place use a privacy screen and tether using a 3G/4G connection instead of an untrusted Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Only use software your company would typically use to share files. Refrain from using your personal email or 3rd party services unless reliably informed otherwise.
Homeworkers should be particularly wary of phishing emails – emails claiming to have important updates or encouraging donations, impersonating otherwise trustworthy organisations.
Business owners are urged to remind staff not to click on links if they are in any doubt.
For more information on protecting your business from Ransomware see the guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre here: https://crowd.in/O0oFOj
Find out more about cybersecurity when working from home here: https://crowd.in/yYaE9K
Guidance on phishing emails can be found here: https://crowd.in/HmGTu9