You and the Threat Outside the Office

by Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (N2N6) | 20 October 2021

by Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (N2N6) | 20 October 2021

For week three of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we are focusing on “you and the threat outside the office.”

The global COVID-19 pandemic has further proven the importance of cybersecurity, given the blurred lines as to what defines a workspace. In an effort to protect their workforce, many offices are in either full or part-time telework posture due to the ongoing threat of Coronavirus exposure. As a result, employees can work anywhere an internet connection exists including personal residences, libraries, coffee shops, and airports, among other public locations. Remote working, while great for employee flexibility, introduces additional challenges to cybersecurity. Diligent attention to the actions you take when connected is necessary to operate in a hybrid, and potentially volatile, environment. Here are a few ideas to keep cybersecurity at the forefront of your mind while working outside the office.

  1. Only connect government furnished equipment to a network over which you have complete control, such as a home Wi-Fi network. If you must use public Wi-Fi, be sure to utilize a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your data.
  2. Be cognizant of your surroundings to deter eavesdropping and shoulder surfing, and always remove your CAC card from your machine when not in active use.
  3. Your password is your cyber lock. Make it difficult for a hacker to pick, but easy for you to use.
  4. Only use agency-approved collaboration tools, including but not limited to chat and video conferencing platforms. The Navy’s enterprise collaboration tool is Microsoft Teams.
  5. Store work-related content on government furnished equipment and agency-approved cloud services only. Do not forward work emails to a personal email account.
  6. Do not print work-related materials at home or on a public printer. Be mindful of how you handle paper documents outside the office and remember that locked personal residences are not considered secure facilities for the handling of classified materials!

For more tips on defending the cyber battlespace when not in the office, visit https://www.cisa.gov/telework.


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