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Telecommuting

Cybersecurity risks rise when medical admin staff work from home

By Ron Slyker

The number of people who work from home has slowly increased from year to year. In 2020 that number skyrocketed as companies including medical offices were forced to implement telecommuting policies. Making the transition from traditional office to home office has brought some challenges, but arguably the most challenging aspect of the process has been maintaining cybersecurity. Now in 2021 the need for remote worker security is more important than ever.

Keep yourself safe with network security assessments

Employees who work from home are more susceptible to cyber threats than employees who work in the office. The reason is businesses can afford enterprise-level cybersecurity services. The average home not only does not have access to this level of security but may also lack basic security measures.

When working from home, it is important to recognize that you are more vulnerable to potential cyber-attacks. Luckily, there are ways for you to make sure that you do not fall victim to phishing scams, malware, and other threats. One step you can take to enhance your cybersecurity is a home security assessment. This can help you identify problems and provide home security recommendations.

Here are a few security factors that a home assessment tends to consider.

Physical security

While it may seem obvious, it is easy to forget about the physical safety of your work devices. Is your equipment out in the open where others can see? Can the other people who live with you login into your devices? These are important questions you need to answer. According to home security guidelines:

  • If you leave your home office for any reason, make sure your work tools are shut down and locked away.
  • If you live with family members, lock your devices, even if you are only stepping away briefly.
  • If you cannot create a separate space to work in, be sure to collect all of your devices at the end of the day and put them somewhere secure and out of sight.

System access

This is a security measure that is in relation to physical security. In addition to keeping your work tools locked and out of sight, you should make sure it is difficult for anyone else to log into your devices. This can help prevent unauthorized access.

  • Password protection: All your devices should require a password or pin to login. Your password should be a strong one that not only incorporates letters and numbers, but also special characters.
  • Wi-Fi protection: The wireless network you work on should also be password protected.
  • Visibility: When you connect your computer to a network, it gives you the option to make your device discoverable. If your computer is visible, you should go into the connection settings and turn visibility off.

Secure connections

Security is something that should be approached from all angles. In addition to improving your physical security, you should also focus on neutralizing security threats in. This does not need to be much different from the cybersecurity best practices you would normally follow at the office.

  • Be cautious of phishing emails: When COVID-19 first arrived in the U.S., there was a flood of phishing scams attempting to take advantage of the situation. These threats are specifically designed to trick people into giving up sensitive information.
  • Install a VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your activity and allows you to access networks anonymously.
  • Scan your devices: Do not forget to have a reliable antivirus software installed on your devices. Have the software scheduled to scan your systems regularly.

Other precautions

There are a few security measures that happen to fall outside of these categories. Nevertheless, they are still just as important to keep in mind.

  • Keep up with updates: While it may be annoying to constantly update your software, it is important. Updates are released frequently because they often provide critical patches that close vulnerable security gaps.
  • Data backups: Accidents can happen at any time and the last thing you want is to lose data. Use a secure backup solution, so you always have access to your information if anything happens.

Ron Slyker is the CEO of Radiant Technology Solutions which specializes in keeping clients safe from cyber threats. After over 15 years in the IT industry, has built relationships with other industries such as healthcare, legal, financial and non-profits. You can reach Radiant Technology Solutions at 727-493-4723.

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