COVID-19: Remote Work & Cybersecurity Threats

The surge in remote workers coupled with the rapid deployment of telework equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic creates a host of potential cybersecurity threats.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued has issued an alert regarding an increased risk of phishing and malware attacks and ransomware during the COVID-19 pandemic. The alert encourages organizations “to adopt a heightened state of cybersecurity” as their employees move to remote work scenarios.

Here are some quick tips for organizations rolling out remote workers:

  1. CHECK CONFIGURATIONS: Ensure that equipment for remote workers is properly configured with security software to ensure that data accessed on it remains secure. If remote workers are using their own equipment, it may not be properly configured and may therefore have security vulnerabilities. If workers must use personal equipment, provide a VPN for connections and require multifactor authentication to log in.
  2. ACCESS NETWORKS SECURELY: Establish, or reinforce, policies around the use of company equipment and network access. For example, provide clear guidelines around acceptable internet connections and the types of devices employees may use to connect to the company’s network. Specifically, employees should not use unsecured WiFi, and use the enterprise’s virtual private network only.
  3. REPORT LOST EQUIPMENT: Make clear that company-issued laptops and other equipment are to go home and stay there, and specify what employees should do in case of lost or stolen equipment in order to prevent data breaches.
  4. BE VIGILANT: Warn all employees about the heightened risk of phishing, malware, and other cyber threats connected to the COVID-19 outbreak. Remind employees not to click on links and attachments from unfamiliar sources. Many phishing emails are circulating purporting to be COVID-19 updates or information.
  5. TAKE QUICK ACTION: Provide employees with a list of emergency contacts in case of a data breach or another emergency. Quick response to a data breach is necessary to cut off access by intruders, investigate, and notify stakeholders.

Aquila is ready to secure your systems. Please contact us for more details on how we can help.






Aquila is an employee-owned technology firm located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aquila partners with public, private, and global organizations in advanced communication, network design, and implementation, project management, information security, prototype design, and manufacturing. The firm holds several GSA schedules and State of New Mexico contracts for services and equipment/software. Aquila is focused on quality, and in September 2010 received ISO 9001 certification.

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