Securing the New Normal

Historically a company was focused on 4 walls: the walls that encompassed employees, a culture, and a secure environment that houses sensitive data as it pertains to not only your clientele, but also your employees. 2020 taught us that work life exists outside of the 4 walls of an office. When March of 2020 brought about the first wave of COVID-19 most businesses went to a remote work environment.

As the world reopens, we are seeing many companies keeping some semblance of remote work. As a business, how are you to adjust to this as it pertains to cyber security? As an employee, it is not only what you do in this new environment, but what you do not do.

On the plus side, remote work offers a great deal of flexibility. One can work in their home, on vacation, at a coffee shop, on a hotspot on a plane, or anywhere where internet access exists. One question to consider: is all internet access to be trusted with private information?

A business likely spent decades protecting data inside of its 4 walls, but now that data exists outside of them. Being conscious of working only on a secure network is how you ensure that no one from the outside can “penetrate” those 4 walls.

As an individual, how does a secure network affect you on a personal level? What is your most private asset at work? It is likely your 401k. In a remote working world, thousands of employees from around the country have their own internet connection. While some have a secure connection, some may not. As an employee, what can you do to protect yourself? Common notion is that if you do not create an online login to an account, such as your 401k, then it is “safe” as you have no login information to have hacked. One counterpoint to consider is that some of your personal information probably already exists on the dark web. If someone were to obtain your personal information they could setup online access to your personal account, such as a 401k.

A safe practice is for businesses to advise their employees that it is best to set up your 401k account access on a secure network, using a strong username and password, and on an email address that you regularly check. This will build your security and set up alerts should anyone attempt to access your account.

A new world exists outside of these 4 walls, and common practices by businesses and individuals can keep private data secure.

Written by:  Justin Hamlin, CFP® and Todd Rohrer, CKP®

These are the opinions of Justin Hamlin and Todd Rohrer and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for information purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.  Investing involves risk.  Depending on the types of investments, there may be varying degrees of risk.  Investors should be prepared to bear loss, including total loss of principal.  The strategies discussed herein are not designed based on the individual needs of any one specific client or investor.  In other words, it is not a customized strategy designed on the specific financial circumstances of the client.  However, prior to opening an account, Cambridge will consult with you to determine if your financial objectives are appropriate for investing in the model.  You are also provided the opportunity to place reasonable restrictions on the securities held in your account.