Hackers Might Try to Take Advantage of People Working from Home

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Office security threats aren’t the only priority for defenders these days; the battlefield extends well beyond desks and cubicles and into homes.

“It’s a crazy world we are in at the moment,” said Dave Hatter, a cybersecurity consultant with Intrust IT, “Especially since people have been forced into this very quickly and in most cases very unprepared for.”

Hatter said that larger companies might’ve supplied employees with a work computer with the safety features already installed and set up. But, that reality may not apply to folks who work for smaller companies.

“A lot of small businesses don’t have dorks like me roaming around on staff to help everyone stay secure,” said Hatter. “Many people are going to be forced to use home devices from their home networks.

Hatter suggests making sure you secure your device and router with the latest patch updates from the vendor.

“Got to install those updates,” said Hatter. “Any software you are using will eventually get fixes from the vendor and that protects you from the bad guys.”

Another helpful rule of thumb isn’t to download the first free software you find online. It is a must that you do your homework from a reputable site like PC Magazine to vet it properly.

Our new home offices don’t just have to worry about securing our home networks and antivirus software. But smart devices like Alexa or Google Home might be cracks in your security as well. It might be a good idea to turn the device off during your work hours or to place it in a different room than the space you are working in.

“You are in an environment you are not used to being in,” said Hatter. “You potentially can be leaking sensitive information through those kinds of devices and not even have thought of it.”

Just as the President, the Governor, and the CDC preach about social distancing and proper handwashing, Hatter wants you to empty good digital hygiene to help make you less susceptible to hackers and cyberattacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you can just make yourself a harder target, the bad guys will often move along,” said Hatter. “These attacks are often automated, not specifically targeting me or you, just trying to find systems that have vulnerabilities and attack them.”