The new health environment we are navigating has led many of us to work from home or remotely. As a result, many companies have made provisions for connecting through Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Though VPN is a wonderful asset that allows us to work remotely, it also comes with increased levels of risk and new threats.
To combat the efforts of cyber criminals, our Risk Management Department would like to share some safety measures you can employ now as a mobile device user:
- Avoid loading unauthorized or pirated software (including apps) or illegal content onto your phone, laptop or other device.
- Only install applications from official platform-owner approved sources.
- Don’t install code from untrusted sources. If you are unsure if an application is from an approved source, we suggest that you check in with your company’s IT department about it first.
If you suspect that unauthorized access to your data has taken place:
- Report any missing, lost or stolen devices to your company’s IT department as soon as you are made aware.
- Diligently protect your assigned phones, laptops, tablets and other mobile device(s) from loss and disclosure of private information.
- Avoid leaving your mobile device(s) unattended in any public setting.
- Devices should be kept up to date with manufacturer or network provided patches to reduce vulnerabilities. Patches should be checked weekly and applied at once.
Lastly, while VPN technology is used to protect the mobile workforce from hackers, and it is not a replacement for your vigilance. Falling victim to a phishing email or website will often remove layers of defense and puts your company’s information at risk. It’s important to remain alert and connect only to networks you are authorized to do so with the equipment that you have been given.