The coronavirus pandemic has prompted a dramatic increase in teleworkers, and with it, a whole new world of security vulnerabilities, especially for groups whose infrastructure was not built with significant remote access capabilities in mind.

Cybersecurity is a key concern, says Alan Katerinsky, clinical assistant professor of management science and systems in the University at Buffalo School of Management.

Organizations should ensure their teleworkers use Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, and multifactor authentication, and keep security up to date with the latest security patches.

“Use every advantage you have,” Katerinsky says. “Costs of simple preventive measures are much lower than the consequences of a security breach.”

In turbulent situations like this, there is an increase in email scams and phishing, according to Katerinsky, and everyone needs to be vigilant. “Take your time with email,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how smart you are, if you’re not paying attention.”

Katerinsky also cautions that wherever teleworkers are working, they should use the same best practices they use in the office. “For example, don’t use applications that aren’t approved for the business network, because it makes the network more susceptible to attacks,” he says.

In addition, remind employees to lock down their home Internet connections with a secure password known only to them.

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