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MAY 2020 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 51 Again, this will continue to be a valuable technological asset post-COVID-19. Before the pandemic, it was clear the move to remote work was already underway. According to a blog by HubSpot [1] , the number of people who work remotely at least once each week grew by 400% in the last decade, and between 2017 and 2018, telecommuting increased by 22%. Keeping Anti-virus Software Updated In addition to employing VPNs and multi- factor authentication, your business will also need to ensure that all of its anti-virus soft- ware is updated in the office and for each employee's devices. Anti-virus software is designed to detect, prevent, and disarm (or remove) malicious software, such as viruses, malware, worms, and Trojan horses from your computer(s). Some anti-virus software also re- moves unwanted spyware and adware in addi- tion to other nasty programs that could create problems for your organization. Anti-virus software begins by checking all of your computer programs and checking them against known viruses and malware. It will al- so scan your computer for behavior that's in- dicative of an infection such as a new, uniden- tified malware. Anti-virus programs typically scan in three ways: 1. Specific: The anti-virus searches for known malware through a set of specific characteristics. 2. Generic: The anti-virus looks to detect malware that is variants of know malware with common codebases. 3. Heuristic: The anti-virus hunts for previ- ously unidentified viruses and malware by seeking out suspicious activity or files. Traditional anti-virus software has employed one scanning engine, but the most modern pro- grams employ multiple scanning engines that offer a more robust scan to detect infected files, malicious apps, or security breaches. By run- ning multiple anti-virus and anti-malware scan- ning engines simultaneously, you improve the odds of preventing attacks while filtering out any threats. This is known as multi-scanning. In addition to the scanning engines, anti- virus programs contain virus definitions that need to be updated regularly. Every virus or spyware application has a unique code and identification information, which is known as a virus definition. Your security software uses these definitions to seek out, identify, and de- stroy invasive viruses, malware, and other ma- licious programs in your network. It's impera- tive to keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software up to date as new viruses, malware, spyware, and the like are discovered. This al- lows your security programs to quickly iden- tify new threats. This is true not just at the office, but for every remote worker as well. Ensure the computers they are working on, from their desktop and laptop to mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have the latest anti-virus software available. A feature of some of the best VPNs available is that they will check the security posture of devices before allowing them to con- nect. For example, they can be set up to check for adequate anti-virus, firewall, and updates. This will help further protect your company's valuable data. Furthermore, it behooves you to send frequent reminders or auto-updates to these devices to keep your anti-virus updated. Locking Down IoT Devices While your employees may have embraced the convenience of smart devices in their homes, they may not realize that their IoT de- vices may be spying on them and your compa- ny as a result. By allowing your employees to work remotely, you're putting your company assets on the same Wi-Fi network as their IoT devices, which are constantly collecting data. This creates a new entry point for malicious individuals to attack your business. The good news is there are ways to reduce the intrusive- ness of these devices to protect your employ- ees and your business. Think about all of the smart devices you or your employees may have in their homes, from smart speakers and TVs to thermostats, Ring doorbells, and video surveillance programs. Even smart pet feeders and litter boxes have the potential to spy on their owners. How? Most IoT devices have microphones and

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