While some employees have returned to the office, it is clear that the work-from-home trend is here to stay, with many companies implementing a hybrid schedule where workers spend a few days in the office and others remotely. While continuing to work remotely is good news for people who want to avoid the daily commute, it can also be good news for hackers who want to get their hands on sensitive company information.
Employees working from home can be at a much higher risk of exposure to cybercriminals than those in the office, as home networks are often less secure. There are also less protections against threats like phishing and ransomware for remote workers. Additionally, 91% of consumers polled in a Sophos Home 2021 survey said they were concerned about online security threats affecting their homes, especially viruses and malware, identity theft, financial fraud and ransomware.
“Most people think of cybersecurity as someone else’s responsibility to maintain when in reality we all have a part of maintaining a good security posture,” said John Schiel, Senior Engineer in information security for cyber defense at Lumen Technologies and their Quantum Fiber Internet service. “This includes users, Internet service providers, and owners, managers and employees of multi-family buildings. ”
Schiel spoke with bisnow and explained how internet providers, building owners, building staff and residents should protect themselves from the growing cybersecurity threats in today’s world of work from home.
More devices = more threats
Schiel said people are connecting more devices to their networks than ever before. An estimated 13.8 billion IoT devices are currently online, and by 2025, that number is estimated to reach nearly 31 billion. Unfortunately, people don’t change their passwords at the same rate as they add these devices, putting them at increased risk of a cyberattack.
“Multi-family residents need to know that their devices are protected from their neighbors or anyone online,” Schiel said. “Even if they don’t always take the strictest security measures, building owners can make informed and smart choices to protect their community. ”
Security must be built in
Schiel said if owners want to ensure their residents’ devices are proactively protected, they need to work with an ISP that offers built-in security as part of its core functionality.
“A secure network is designed to find and mitigate bad actors as soon as they are found,” said Schiel. “In addition, the right provider will have multiple layers of security from the network and all equipment installed in homes, as well as educating all users, residents and staff on how to avoid common scams. and security vulnerabilities. ”
Look for the layers
Schiel said an ISP should offer multiple levels of security, not just one. These layers, he said, are the backbone of cybersecurity for a Tier 1 vendor like Lumen, which operates one of the world’s largest and most connected networks, with broad visibility into threats. in real time.
A supplier’s security layers must begin with its fiber backbone. In an ideal situation, a business will have hundreds of thousands of miles of its own fiber optic internet and will not be dependent on small internet providers or installers who may not have appropriate layers of security.
“Lumen has approximately 450,000 miles of fiber optic Internet route, which solves this problem,” said Schiel.
The second layer of security is to be proactive. An ISP must have a built-in program that proactively exploits scans for botnets, malicious activity, spam or other threats, Schiel said, to stop bad actors before they happen. can infiltrate users’ devices.
The next layer of security revolves around the gateways or modems that a vendor offers to their customers. The right modems will work on cloud-based systems that use machine learning to instantly scan messages, files, and apps, and block malicious content on compatible devices. These security features should also protect IoT and smart home devices like cameras and thermostats. This, Schiel said, is what customers who own the C3510XZ and C4000XG modems, and the SmartNID 5500 360 WiFi modem can typically achieve with Quantum Fiber Internet and Instant Internet.
An additional service, property-wide WiFi, requires another layer of security that should be of concern to all owners of multi-family buildings. Today’s residents don’t just limit their Internet use to their apartments. They also frequent the gym, offices and even the outdoor spaces of a building. For this reason, said Schiel, it’s essential that owners work with a provider that offers property-wide WiFi connectivity to residents and guests over a secure private portal. In other words, each user receives a personal network that keeps them isolated from other residents while remaining connected throughout their community.
“With Quantum Fiber’s Instant WiFi solution, residents have their own dedicated public IP,” said Schiel. “Their service works exactly as it would with a residential walkway in each unit. The system ensures that residents choose unique and personalized WiFi passwords that enhance their security. ”
Finally, said Schiel, one of the best ways for building owners, staff and residents to protect themselves from cyber attacks is to stay informed about what to watch out for and how technology can help them. Quantum Fiber has the resources and support to educate everyday users about protecting their privacy and deterring threats.
“What do you do if a warning appears on a website that you or a family member is about to access? Said Schiel. Or, how can using digital parental controls help families actively monitor content and unauthorized access from suspicious devices? We have all of these important tips and educational resources in our Quantum Fiber Explore blog.
This article was produced in collaboration between Quantum Fiber and Studio B. The Bisnow press team was not involved in the production of this content.
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