The year 2020 has changed the lives of people all around the globe. And now, these changes have become the new normal. The Covid-19 pandemic has also transformed the way people used to work.
Most employers have forced their staff to work from home during these difficult times to avoid the spread of the infection. This has increased the frequency of cyber-attacks significantly.
As the home networks are not as secure as those used in offices, it has become extremely easy for hackers to access crucial business data.
This is bad news for startups as now hackers can easily break into their accounts and gather information about their unique business plans.
These businesses also remain at high risk of losing their credibility due to the unscrupulous activities of cybercriminals. To prevent such events, startups must adopt better cybersecurity practices.
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1. Protect Your System Against Man-in-the-Middle Attacks
As you are working from a remote location and also allowing your employees to do so, there will be times when you and your staff will need to use public Wi-Fi.
This leaves you at a high risk of losing your private data as the communication channels of such networks remain unencrypted.
Cybercriminals can easily intercept your private data through those unsecured, unencrypted channels through packet sniffing.
Use a Virtual Private Network or VPN to protect your system against such man-in-the-middle attacks.
Download a VPN on your laptop or computer to create an encrypted channel connecting the VPN server and your device. All your traffic will pass through this channel.
This change will ensure that even if you mistakenly open a non-HTTPS website or if using a malicious Wi-Fi access point, your chances of falling prey to cyber-attacks will be much lower.
2. Be Vigilant about Social Engineering Calls
When you work from home, your chances of becoming a victim of social engineering attacks increase significantly.
This happens because the lack of IT support experts around you (something you always have in an office) will force you to seek help from third-party service providers whenever there’s an IT problem bothering you.
The most common form of social engineering attack includes the ones conducted using a phone. When working from home, you may receive calls from malicious individuals impersonating an IT support expert.
They will win your confidence to gain access to your computer/laptop. This, in turn, will allow them to see all the confidential information about your business.
Some of the common equipment these fraudsters use to carry out successful social engineering calls include a phone, a voice changer, and a caller ID. Other than that, these attackers are knowledgeable.
They can respond to any question asked by their potential prey promptly and efficiently.
The only way you can prevent such attacks when working from home is by being more vigilant. Indeed, these difficult times will force you to seek help from professionals ready to offer support via phone calls.
However, never share any company information or personal data with a service provider without confirming their identity.
Whenever you receive a call from someone claiming to be an IT support personnel, request him to prove his identity before you decide to use services offered by the person.
3. Beware of Phishing Emails
The moment you create a business email, you’ll start receiving phishing emails from cybercriminals. The number of such emails reaching your inbox will increase as your business will grow.
These emails usually try to entice recipients by presenting exciting offers. As a startup owner, you may also receive phishing emails from senders posing as your clients.
Whatever might be the content of such emails, their common goal is to make you click on links that would download malware on your device as well as your company’s systems.
Since the time the pandemic has hit the world, the frequency of phishing attacks has increased noticeably.
Thousands of Gmail and Office 365 accounts have been hacked through phishing emails. The hackers have then sent fake invoices posing as legitimate vendors with altered wiring instructions.
Businesses falling prey to those attacks have ended up facing major financial losses.
Avoid clicking links without checking them to prevent phishing attacks. Also, delete all emails received from unknown mail IDs.
Having an email list featuring the email ids of all your clients will help you identify fake IDs easily.
As the startup founder, you must ensure that your company’s private information doesn’t reach any online fraudsters and hackers.
You must be even more careful about hacking attacks if you have employees who are working from home.
The tips discussed above will help you in protecting your business from becoming victims of cyber-attacks.
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