NCSAM Week 2: Being Cyber Smart in the Home Office


This year’s NCSAM is in full swing as millions of Americans are still in a remote work environment. With many businesses and organizations opting to keep their employees at home for at least the remainder of 2020, work-from-home is now the reality as opposed to the exception. As the paradigm shifts away from centralized and easily controlled security infrastructure, the need to be cyber smart has become even more paramount.

The theme of the second week of NCSAM, “Securing Devices at Home and at Work,” couldn’t be timelier with the emphasis on individual workers’ role in protecting shared networks. Personal devices are typically less secure than employer-issued ones, so ensuring consistent and diligent adherence to cyber hygiene recommendations is key to maintaining effective cybersecurity.

So, to kick off week two and refresh everyone on the best practices, the EDGE360 editorial team has pulled together this round-up bringing together some of the best tried and true advice to share with employees, clients, and anyone else who access a shared network from a personal device.

Securing the Remote Work Environment

Ben Nahorney, Threat Intelligence Analyst at Cisco Security, encourages Cisco users to consistently reassess their security posture in a work from home environment in a recent Cisco blog post. He wrote, “The fact is that remote work introduces a number of security concerns that are different from working on-premises. It’s important to review the tools brought onboard, the risks that come with them, and see what can be done to manage these risks.” A few elements of this assessment process include securing the endpoint, utilizing sanctioned software, and broadening your scam awareness.

Vigilance in the Remote Work Environment

For those who believe that the devil is in the details, this piece discusses what employers and employees can do to promote cyber safety at a granular level. From issuing VPNs to verifying that a website URL is accurate, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has put together a comprehensive list of suggested actions to ensure the security of the home office. A helpful refresher or a good starting point, either way, comparing your organization’s existing best practice to these serves to keep your network secure.

Why Remote Work is Not the Same as Work from Home

While it might be considered a small issue for many, there is an important distinction to be made between remote work and work-from-home, according to Juan Vela, Global Head of Market Strategy at Cisco Meraki. A recent blog post he penned articulates that there exist significant differences between how much trust an employee can place in a remote desktop versus a personal laptop. Distinguishing the contrasts will help employees understand the risks inherent to the new paradigm.

Security Tips for Remote Workers

NCSA compiled a comprehensive and digestible resource of what the remote workforce should be considering when it comes to their workspace. Focused on what an employee can do, NCSA expands on the dangers of lax telework security practices and shares what they can do to address them. A few tips include “separate your network” and “lockdown your login.”


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