05 May Coronavirus Isn’t the Only Virus You Need to Worry About
Coronavirus Isn’t the Only Virus You Need to Worry About
As the global pandemic rages on, you may not recognize that COVID-19 isn’t the only virus that
can wreak havoc. This other virus can get past an N95 respirator, a biohazard suit, and the cute
smiley-faced cloth mask your neighbor wears on his daily walks.
Of course, I’m talking about computer viruses, spyware, ransomware, and malware that can track
your every online move, steal your passwords, or lock up your computer system.
Businesses that have strong on-site IT security may not realize the hazards from the current
One Overwatch client uses a VPN we provide for the computer work he does from home. When
he decided his employees could work from home during the pandemic, he gave them the VPN
link. The child of an employee connected his (unknowingly) infected gaming laptop to the
system. Fortunately for this company, we caught the virus at the server firewall, so his operations
were safe, but it was a learning opportunity for him. Let it be a learning opportunity for you, too.
While work from home is important for those businesses that can do it, the sudden shift from on-
site can create IT security headaches. A strong office IT security infrastructure gives way to
whatever internet access the employee has at home. You have to worry about the other devices
(the infected gaming laptop) that are sharing the network. Your password may be strong, but
what about your kid’s password? Your spouse’s?
There also can be differences in whether data is accessed from a central server or a cloud-based
application. By understanding how employees access data, Overwatch can help determine the
best course of action to keep data safe.
Depending on your industry, you may also have compliance or regulatory concerns regarding the
work employees are doing from their homes. Electronic protected health information, for
example, that’s created, stored or transmitted in a work device must be encrypted to stay in
compliance with HIPAA regulations. The rule applies to not only healthcare providers but any
entity that handles ePHI, including third-party billers, service providers and other business
With more workers taking their laptops home or using personal laptops and desk computers for
work, the physical security of devices cannot be overlooked. While encryption provides some
level of security, the theft of a computing device that holds privileged information may trigger a
mandatory report to a regulatory body. And nobody wants to do that.
Advise employees to keep devices secure and to log out of them when leaving the room – even
for a minute. No, your kids don’t want to download ePHI, but one accidentally deleted file or
wrong keystroke could cause major problems.
Overwatch can perform a security assessment and make suggestions on how to protect your
technology assets. Even if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, protecting your devices from
viruses makes great sense and will give you peace of mind.
And right now, having one less thing to worry about should sound pretty good.