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Teleworking, Cybersecurity and COVID-19: A Practical Guide to Maintaining Healthy Digital Hygiene

Best practices

A few quick and easy measures that can undoubtedly help reduce your exposure to cyberthreats in a remote work environment. We relied heavily on the expertise and the resources of the following organizations to write this (inherently incomplete) list: Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, Terranova Security, Zerospam, Devolution, Streamscan, In Fidem, KPMG-Egyde, Secure Exchanges, Vumetric.

1

Partition your tools

Don’t let family members have access to the tools (computers, dedicated networks or accounts) used for your work.

2

Secure your data

Store work-related data in approved cloud or local storage.

3

Protect your drives

Implement full encryption of your hard drives.

4

Protect yourself from malware

Use anti-malware software that provide real-time protection and at least one weekly scan of all your disks. Ideally, your antivirus software automatically scans everything on your computer and anything that comes in.

5

Beware of indiscretions

Use a password-protected screensaver that activates after a short period of inactivity.

6

Do your updates

Make sure that patch updates are installed regularly on your operating system and your various applications.

7

Secure your wi-fi

Protect your wireless router with strong passphrases, WPA2 encryption (not unsecured WEP encryption) and MAC addressing. And use a firewall!

8

Watch out for unencrypted media

Never use unencrypted USB flash drives or portable hard drives to store important operational data.

9

Support strong authentication

Use effective and strong usernames and passwords, and implement a two-factor authentication system or a public key infrastructure (PKI) authentication. Do not use the same passwords for home and work. Promote the use of a robust password manager.

10

Do not leave doors open

Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networking services when you are not using them.

11

Stay alert!

In our personal environment at home we often have the habit of letting our guard down. Stay alert and cautious of unsolicited e-mails, text messages, chats and attached files. When in doubt – don’t click!

12

Speak out!

Immediately report suspected, suspicious and actual security incidents to the cybersecurity authorities within your organization.

Teleworking, cybersecurity and COVID-19

The digital transformation of our society has broadened access to high-performance remote work tools: computers are powerful, networks are fast and reliable, videoconferencing software is stronger than ever, and cloud management and storage tools provide remote access to all operational data of a given organization.

In short, there are no longer any real technological barriers to the widespread practice of remote working.

However, this very notion of remote work creates a bewildering dynamic from a purely “cybersecurity” point of view: IT management ends up having to provide protection to a multitude of small independent work units, managed autonomously and often straddling the line between what belongs to the organization and what is part of the worker’s private life.

Add to this a fair amount of improvisation caused by the rush to deploy remote working on large scale, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently seeing, and you have all the ingredients for a cybersecurity disaster…

It is to support Quebec organizations, that now have to turn massively towards remote working, and to help them adopt best practices and reduce their exposure that In-Sec-M created this microsite in collaboration with its members.


We gladly benefit from the help of our partner, Cilex, for the English version of this microsite. We invite you to visit Cilex’s website at the following address: www.cilex.ca

Members who can help you


In-Sec-M

In-Sec-M brings together some of the best cybersecurity experts from all across Canada. Need to know more about what we or our members can do to help you protect your organization? Contact us today at www.insecm.ca or by e-mail at info@insecm.ca

Outils pour maximiser le télétravail

Connecting with colleagues


Organizing videconferences


File sharing


Remote access


Signing important documents

Docusign


Managing projects


Managing passwords

1password