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Work securely off campus – at home or in a cafe

The coronavirus lockdown led to many things – among them an increased focus on cyber security when working remotely. UiA took measures to improve cyber security. Awareness is key as cyber criminals try to exploit the situation to gain access.

Illustration: Thomas Andersen

(Illustration: Thomas Andersen)

“We actually haven’t had a single security issue that can be directly traced to people working from home”, says team leader at UiA Computer Centre, Helge Høynes.

Added security with automatic updates

One of the measures introduced as lockdown happened in March, was that all UiA computers received an automatic update of security software.

“Since most employees use their work computer at home, outdated security software is not a big issue”, says Høynes

Automatic updates may come at inconvenient times; however, they can be postponed – but not for long. That is a bad idea anyway. You never know when an attack might occur, and you want to be protected and prepared.

“Critical updates usually come every month, and postponing installation until it is forced on you is not recommended”, Høynes says.

When employees use their work computer for working remotely, it means that download of unauthorised software is prevented. In addition, employee computers are secured with two-step verification, making hacking more difficult.

See the information from sikresiden.no on risk assessment, it takes a couple of minutes:

eduVPN-logo

Update your VPN connection

VPN stands for ‘Virtual Private Network.’ A VPN essentially establishes secure and encrypted connections. When eduVPN is activated, traffic is routed through UiA. Read more about what VPN is and how it works here.

Last summer UiA introduced a new VPN connection – eduVPN – which is better and more secure than the old Cisco Anyconnect connection.

With eduVPN you can stay connected for more than two hours and wont have to log on every time you use it.

“We are going to disable the old Cisco Anyconnect vpn connection, so there is no reason to wait to replace it with eduVPN”, says Helge Høynes.

Read more about UiA’s VPN solution here:

Access from home - VPN

Download a new and improved VPN solution

Two measures to prevent cyber attacks

Upgrade software and hardware. Newer updates patch security holes and help keep hackers out.

Be quick to install security updates. Knowledge of new vulnerabilities spreads rapidly. System owners should be similarly quick to update, before anyone takes advantage of software vulnerabilities to gain access.

Simple and straightforward – just follow the instructions from UiA's IT Division.

7 tips for working securely

Employees should read this on Innaskjærs: 7 tips to stay secure when working remotely: How to work safely off campus  

For information and resources on cyber security in English, check out these major websites:

From the European Union:

European cyber security month website: https://cybersecuritymonth.eu/

American websites:

National Initiative for Cyber Security Careers and Studies https://niccs.us-cert.gov/

National Cyber Security Alliance https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/

And remember:

Check out sikresiden.no – your guide to safety at home and at work. Download the app to your smartphone, add it to your phone's home screen to keep it readily accessible in an emergency: www.sikresiden.no/en