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How to create a cyber secure home office network

Cybercriminals know no boundaries. If your employees work from home, share these tips with them to help create a secure home office network and keep your business’s data safe.

When it comes to cybercriminal activity, there’s no boundaries, no rules, and no playbook on where or when your business could be attacked.

As our homes have become our workplaces, it raises the risk of a data breach or other cyberattacks according to multiple security experts.1 Home networks are especially susceptible to malicious activity, primarily because the network equipment comes with generic default administrative passwords that are easy to get hold of.

Help keep your business’ data safe by refreshing your remote workers’ cybersecurity knowledge with the following top tips:

Securing home networks

  1. Change the default administrator name and password on their network router and Wi-Fi devices.
  2. Run the latest manufacturer updates and set up to automatically receive these updates.
  3. Require a strong password to join the Wi-Fi network and use the latest encryption (WPA2).
  4. Review devices that connect to the network (phones, gaming consoles, TVs) and disconnect those they not recognised.
  5. Create a separate "guest" wireless network for their friends.

If your employees have questions about their home network, encourage them to contact their service provider or equipment manufacturer. Service manuals for the equipment are often available online.

Home network password guidance

Consider using 8+ characters, including a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters (@#$&), and numbers for passwords. Use a phrase that’s easy to remember but hard to guess, to avoid writing it down. Example: Tee time at 2:00 pm (Ttime@2pm). Try to avoid using common birth dates, family names or pet names, (i.e., Fluffy2023!). Avoid reusing passwords on multiple platforms.

Be aware of fake calls regarding your network

It can be easy to go into auto-pilot whilst in the comfort of your own home. Encourage employees to stay vigilant when receiving calls from individuals claiming to be from network providers or even internal technical support teams.

Scammers are increasingly using fake caller ID information to look legitimate and encourage your employees to hand over sensitive information, download software, or provide remote access to their computer. Employees should verify such requests with their network provider or IT teams before acting upon requests. 

Helping you combat cybercriminal activity

Cyber is an important element of any business’s risk management strategy. While cyber insurance can help your business recover losses and associated costs resulting from large-scale breaches, business interruption, ransomware and other types of cyberattacks. Education is one of the best forms of prevention - so be sure to share this article with your employees who work from home.

We also recommend you check out another of our articles on the cybersecurity threats your employees need to know. For further education on cybersecurity, visit our UK Risk Hub and the National Cyber Security Centre.

The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable and should be understood to be general risk management and insurance information only. The information is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such. This article contains third party content and/or links to third party websites. Links to third party websites are provided as a convenience only. Marsh Commercial is not responsible or liable for any third party content or any third party website nor does it imply a recommendation or endorsement of such content, websites or services offered by third parties.

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