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Safe Working remotely

Almost everyone works at home where possible. However, this does pose a number of problems, according to Jesper Smits and Victor Degenaars, security experts in the Internet and software. "" You can see that a lot of internet providers are now experiencing disruptions. Service providers have to squeeze the lines, with the result that, for example, a YouTube, Netflix and Disney + can no longer stream with the highest streaming time. "You can see this with Skype and Teams, which have lost many customers because of this. Customers are looking for an alternative, but these competitors have also had to take the same measures, according to Smits." This often leads to the wrong person who does not so closely with privacy. By reducing the quality to 720p, for example, more bandwidth has become available. "

The internet is overloaded because everyone is now working at home. The network is not set up for this, Smits continues. "Despite the fact that the Netherlands is a perfect internet country. We have a lot of data centers here in the Netherlands and a lot of internet lines converge here, but you can see that the networks cannot handle it. The Amsterdam node has record on record in the number of processing operations."

What many companies and home workers now encounter is ignorance, says Degenaars. "Many people do not know how to work from home safely and that can lead to problems. In addition, internet criminals strike during this period. For example, many more Ransomware and phishing emails are sent and, for example, the RIVM has been hacked." I think that ninety percent of the companies now work unsafe, because the employees now work from home without proper security and knowledge. And this is not only the case in the Netherlands, but it is currently a worldwide problem, says Smits. "Email can be secured, for example, by means of an SPF record which can be checked by DKIM, so the sender is guaranteed. In addition, one can use a VPN for access and / or storage at Amazon, Azure or Google if you have files for your work there. you have to use. "


The right security and software on the computers is needed to work from home safely. But because cloud applications are extremely popular and accessible, it is often difficult for companies to secure all these applications, according to Degenaars. "This responsibility often lies with the end user and should mainly lie with the company you work for. Some cloud services offer that protection, but that varies from case to case. There is a difference between SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Internet as a Service, or virtual Wan) It is even more important that employees encrypt their passwords and set a two-step identification in addition to enterprise priveledge passwords, that was already a must, no laziness is now acceptable, says Degenaars. "Do not click on phishing emails and prevent certain risks, an awareness course will help.

These can also be found online with understandable methods that reduce risk and the Attack surface. "Services like Office365 have built-in protection until a certain level against risks like phishing, but these are never foolproof. Think about the latest vulnerabilities in chat programs. I would recommend any company taking extra measures to secure the email channel and chats and to inform employees, says Smits. "Providing employees with the right security is quickly an expensive task for small companies.

For the short term, awareness is the most important thing. The people who work from home need to be even more alert to phising emails and Ransomware.

Online awareness program of KNOWB4 and of CBABenelux expertise will help. 


It is up to the organization and the IT department itself to provide a safe online working environment for the home and remote workers, according to Smits. "It is difficult for an end user, the home worker, to organize, but companies have the responsibility to ensure this." For example, by using endpoint management systems to which you connect the devices and adhere to rules, according to Degenaars. This way you create an extra control layer. It is especially important that the homeworkers remain (mentally) healthy and alert when they work. 


Finally, the homeworkers should also think about themselves and walk outside every now and then, according to Degenaars. "I have read, about six hours working at home is mentally as hard as eight hours in the office. I also experience that can make you less sharp."

Do not forget your sitting position, if you work on a sofa instead of an office chair which gives less support one can experience problems with the lower back. Occasionally look away from your screen, preferably outside. And get enough daylight during the day for the absorption of vitamin D. Just keep your breaks as usual, exercise and eat healthy. Let's all go on for a while and help each other to get out of this crisis as well as possible ", Smits and Degenaars conclude.

When: 11 mei 2020
Where: Amsterdam
Event type: acties

Kingsfordweg 151

1043 GR


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