Life Tech Coronavirus: Firms warned of cyber risk as workers go remote

Coronavirus: Firms warned of cyber risk as workers go remote

Businesses are being asked to make sure their technology is up to date before asking staff to work from home. Photo: AAP
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Update your systems, patch up those programs and fortify the firewall – that’s the message to businesses, as more Australians are being forced to work from home in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), part of the Australian Signals Directorate, is encouraging Australians to remain vigilant and ensure sound cyber security practices.

“As more staff may work from home and use remote access technology increases, adversaries may attempt to take advantage,” the centre says on its website.

It advises businesses to ensure their systems and firewalls are up to date with the most recent security patches and to test their remote access technologies ahead of time.

Work devices, such as laptops and mobile phones, should also be checked to ensure they are secure, while staff should be informed and educated in cyber security practices.

This includes verifying sites are what they purport to be, to avoid systems becoming compromised.

A popular interactive COVID-19 tracking map maintained by Johns Hopkins University has reportedly been targeted by hackers using malware that impersonates the site.

Other advice includes ensuring staff working from home have physical security measures in place.

“This minimises the risk that information may be accessed, used, modified or removed from the premises without authorisation,” the ACSC website says.

-with AAP