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Coy Hollingsworth, Director, IT Security, ScanSource

Heightening security during an insecure time

As the number of COVID-19 cases rapidly increases, more businesses must rely on employees working from home. While this helps heighten health and safety, it also can open doors to security issues.

Recently, there’s been a surge of COVID-19-related phishing attacks. Hackers are attempting to take advantage of our health and safety fears, and sometimes it only takes one click to lose control of your data which, in turn, can cause significant damage to your business. The work-from-home environment creates prime opportunities for hackers and phishers to breach your data and—with employees undoubtedly focusing on other things like family, health, and finances—data security may not be top of mind. But, with the right planning and team training, you can minimize the risks while still supporting your employees working remotely. Having the right knowledge can stop threats in their tracks.

Here are some tips for keeping your data safe and secure—no matter the location of your employees.

Secure credentials and passwords – Regardless of who’s asking, never give out login credentials via phone, email, or website. Try establishing different passwords for every website, after installing a password manager to keep track of them. Consider using a passphrase like, “I love getting to work at 7:00!” instead of overly complicated, difficult-to-remember passwords. And remember weak, reused passwords are a leading cause of cyberattacks.

Protect personal devices – Even though most employees are equipped with company-provided devices like laptops and phones, they’re often multi-tasking from personal devices, too—so it’s important to secure them as well. Offer your employees the most up-to-date, anti-virus software for all their devices, and make sure their personal wireless networks include network-security technology.

Question emails and websites – Be wary of emails from unknown sources and before clicking unknown links, think again—and when in doubt, throw them out! Hover over a link with your cursor to confirm the link’s real destination. Be mindful of social-media posting, and don’t post any information that could harm you or your company. Avoid using open Wi-Fi whenever possible. On those networks, almost everything you do can be seen. And don’t log into your banking information or any other systems critical to your business while connected to public Wi-Fi.

Remain vigilant – As our work environments continue changing, always remember to err on the side of extreme caution when securing business data. Don’t leave your devices unattended in public spaces, and always lock your computer when you step away. Make sure you’re saving information to servers if you don’t want to lose it, and don’t plug in USB devices you don’t know, as they can allow the installation of malware.

Report security issues – With remote workers less connected than usual, stress the need to report any suspicious emails, activities, or lost devices. Consider creating security-breach policies for remote-working environments—including topics like appropriate use of company emails, devices, and file sharing.

Remember, the internet never is completely safe. Hackers constantly look for vulnerabilities. Let ScanSource and Intelisys help ensure they don’t find any. Check out more valuable security tips and support at and contact us with any questions. Because decreasing the often catastrophic effects of cyberattacks starts with YOU, and WE can help.