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Thought Leaders: A Guide to ‘Digital Distancing’ for Small Businesses

We’re familiar with the term social distancing because of COVID-19, but are you also familiar with the term ‘digital distancing?’ 

Digital distancing is the term used to define taking additional precautions to limit the risk of cyberattacks on personal and business networks. Similar to social distancing, digital distancing practices (outlined below) can put additional space between your devices and others. 

 Let’s take a look at how SMB’s can safeguard data through digital distancing:

 Use a VPN — One of the first steps to take in securing your remote-work operations is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN protects web traffic by encrypting data transferred between systems and masking location and IP address information. A VPN makes it difficult for predators to access online activity, providing a layer of security against would-be attackers.

 Utilize Both Router Networks —WiFi routers come with the ability to host two separate WiFi networks. This is easily implemented by creating one network for personal use, and another for professional work. The protections offered are two-fold: it blocks intrusions from personal devices tunneling back to an organization’s network resulting in possible cyberattacks, and any intrusions made into an organization’s network cannot be used to target others in the network.

 Install “Next-Generation” Antivirus — Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) software is the next-generation antivirus. SMBs should ditch traditional antivirus and move to EDR especially as their workforce operates remotely. These EDR solutions can provide powerful, real-time device assessment and remediation capabilities to defend against active threats and isolate attacks before they spread. Because attackers can use home networks as a stepping stone to the business network, EDR can add a layer of robust protection/detection even when the device isn’t behind the office firewall.  

 Practice Good Password/Access Hygiene — Preventing malicious access to user systems and the business network can be strengthened by using strong passwords. A passphrase is much better than a standard password as a unique phrase draws out character length making it harder for machines to “crack.” Combining a strong passphrase with multi-factor authentication can drastically increase the security of devices and accounts.

 Take Extra Precautions When Online — As coronavirus-themed cyber-attacks increase, it’s important for SMB’s to stay vigilant while online. As a real-world example: physically distancing from someone coughing has become second-nature for most. This mentality should be considered online too as cyber-attackers prey on unsuspecting individuals, baiting them to click links or download malicious files.

Much like the world’s response to the pandemic, online behaviors must adapt to new threats. By working with IT professionals, like Connecting Point, SMB’s can better secure networks and increase all-around cybersecurity measures. 

Do you need help understanding the risks and unique needs of your business to ensure adequate protection? Learn more and get support from the IT experts at Connecting Point by visiting  www.cpcolorado.com.


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