PRACTICE COMPUTING HYGIENE by Paige S. Barry, VP, Customer Solutions, DefenseStorm

At DefenseStorm we have the privilege of keeping our financial institution clients safe and secure by actively monitoring their networks and applications. Essential to so many of us, the security of community banks and credit unions is of even greater importance as many of us eagerly await the deposit of stimulus checks or work with our financial service providers to help us navigate small business loans to protect payroll for our
employees.

Not unlike first responders, bank tellers have left the comfort and safety of their homes to serve the needs of their communities often handling the cash that has passed through so many hands. Customer service agents for our financial institutions are working from home while balancing the physical, safety and educational needs of their children.

My heart goes out to all those who have patiently helped their customers use mobile banking on their phones for the first time while listening to their infant cry out from the other room having just awakened from a nap.

At home and at work we are all inundated with COVID-19 email. Unfortunately, many of the emails we receve are phishing attempts and carry the risk of compromise to both our professional and personnal assets.  There has never been a time when vigilance and suspicion have been more important tools as we scrutinize every text and email.

As we continue to shelter-in-place, we have opened our businesses up to our homes and vice versa.

Those of us who use a laptop every day may have logged off and powered off our devices prior to our commute home from the office. Now that our commute have been shortened to walking down the hall or down a flight of stairs, we might forget to log off and power off our workstations.

Working from home includes the good workstation habits we followed when we went to the office, though it seems harder to remember in our new office environments that have been established at our dining room tables and in our guest bedrooms.

Many cybersecurity risks can be avoided by maintaining hygienic workstation habits, such as locking our workstations when we step away from them, disconnecting our VPN session during our lunch hour and when we are finished working for the day.

We have all gotten very good at washing our hands repeatedly.  Acquiring similar computing hygiene is the first step in stopping the spread of cybercrime.  

“The preparations to enable working at home was different for everyone, yet the focus on secure computing continues to be top-of-mind for us all."

Paige S. Barry, VP, Customer Solutions, DefenseStorm Tweet

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Actively listening to others elevates them and elevates your value as a professional. Collaboration, which begins with listening before talking, is essential for growing it forward. We have the brain trust to make great things happen in our careers, companies and society!

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