The Importance of Home Network Security During COVID-19

Home network security has always been important in our opinion, but now it’s at the forefront (or should be!) of most people’s minds. Why? A large majority of the U.S. workforce is now working from home. This poses a unique problem for many businesses: concern over the home network security of their employees, especially those dealing with sensitive data. 

What is home network security? 

Home network security is defined as the protection of a network that connects devices–i.e. Computers, smartphones, routers, WiFi-enabled cameras, etc–to each other and to the internet within an individual’s home.

Home Network Misconceptions

Many people think that because it’s “just” their home network–it’s too small to matter. A feeling that these rules for home networks “don’t apply to me”. 

Others believe that their devices are “secure enough” right out of the box.

Both of these notions are untrue. Cyber attacks can take place in homes and businesses–on small and large networks. Every network is susceptible if not secure. 

How to Reduce Risk for Your Home Network

  1. Change default log-in passwords and usernames. The default credentials that come with your devices, such as your firewall, are not secure–be sure to change them immediately to a strong and unique password of your own. 
  2. Consider an entry level business-class firewall. A more robust firewall will be better at defending your network against external threats, block malicious traffic, and alert you to any potentially dangerous activity. At a minimum, block countries like Russia and China to immediately experience an upgrade in your security posture. Work with your IT Company for recommendations. 
  3. Confirm Windows Update is running regularly. Performing regular software updates is the easiest thing you can do to protect your home network. Updates frequently include new functionality and security fixes that will help protect your home network from threats. Open up Windows Update and confirm it’s running ongoingly. 
  4. Run premium Endpoint Protection. Consider a solution, such as Sophos Premium, to step up your security at home. The built-in Windows Defender and Sophos Home Free can only do so much. With a higher tier license, you’ll get more features to help protect you from threats.
  5. Remove unnecessary services and software. Unused software can create security holes on a device’s system which can lead to increased risk of cyber attack. Go through the applications installed on your computer and remove unneeded applications. 
  6. Mitigate email threats. Since phishing emails are still one of the most common avenues for cyber threats, it’s important to be wary of potential phishing email threats. Make yourself an informed email user so that you can self-identify phishing emails. 

If you need help setting up home networks properly for your employees working remotely, or you have questions about general network security, PK Tech is here to help. Contact us here.