With the rise in digital technology, we can now do things better and faster than ever. Unfortunately, the conveniences afforded to many have also made it easier for cyber thieves, hackers, and other malicious individuals to ramp up their working methods. A 2021 report revealed that “the breadth, depth, and impact of data breaches” all have significantly gone up with the Covid19 pandemic. The dramatic shift to remote work and the pivoting of many businesses to a digital model are some of the factors that have given rise to the number of opportunities for cybercrime.
And this situation evidently has dire consequences for businesses and individuals everywhere. Most especially vulnerable are Individuals working out from coworking spaces. Without the typical high-level cybersecurity defenses from an office system, such as firewalls, blacklisted IP addresses, and other such security tools, an individual remotely working in spaces randomly shared with strangers is at risk for cyber threats. If you are one such individual, protect yourself by checking these things to consider when choosing a coworking space.
Your coworking space establishes unique Wi-Fi credentials for each user
Before settling on a coworking facility, remote workers usually if they can use public Wi-Fi in the coworking space. Without a reliable internet connection, one cannot gain access to their company’s website or other important documents that they need to accomplish their work. However, the consumption of public Wi-Fi makes users vulnerable to hackers who may steal confidential company information.
One way to work around this issue is for coworking facilities to provide unique WI-Fi credentials for each user or company. In addition, policies should also be put in place that prohibits members from exchanging passes that will networks more vulnerable and data breaches more likely.
Your coworking space employs a dedicated administrator to keep the network secure
A coworking facility that intends to protect its customers should invest in getting a competent administrator. This designated person can serve as the chief security officer who will set up the Internet and Cybersecurity policies in the coworking space and constantly make sure that users abide by them. He will also be responsible for securely setting up the networks and regularly changing the networks’ passwords.
Your coworking space proactively blocks any suspicious or unnecessary websites
A coworking space should not see itself as a glammed-up version of an internet cafe where anyone can just download from any website. Restricting internet access and blocking irrelevant websites can do a great deal not only in protecting customers but also in boosting their productivity. Giving unlimited access to any website increases the risk of downloading viruses, trojans, and other malware. From a productivity perspective, this can also significantly diminish the bandwidth available for other users.
Investing in anti-virus software is an effective way to keep out unwanted traffic from these dangerous websites. Although the upfront costs may be substantial, it is sure to pay off in the long run, as more customers learn about the reputation of the coworking facility to capably protect its members from cyber threats.
Your coworking space diligently screens users or members
Although coworking facilities are public spaces, coworking space owners or managers have the responsibility to ensure that those using their spaces are protected, especially since sensitive data are most likely being transmitted on a daily basis.
One thing that can be done to increase cybersecurity is to vet the customers themselves. Before allowing them to sign on, coworking companies need to establish the credentials of each individual’s company affinity, how long they have been working for their respective companies, the nature of their work, and so on. Conducting due diligence in securing background checks can help deter malicious individuals from becoming part of the coworking space if they see that they they have to circumvent many safety protocols.
Your coworking space has security cameras installed
This one may be tricky as you don’t want cameras directly behind you and capturing and zooming in on the data on your screen. However, security cameras placed in strategic locations all over the coworking space can be a considerable deterrent to cybercrime. For instance, it may keep shoulder surfing at bay.
Shoulder surfing is the technique malevolent individuals use to look over your shoulder as you are busy and focused on working on your computer. By doing so, they can steal valuable information such as personal identification numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, etc.
It isn’t just shoulder surfing that you can be vulnerable to. Aside from your laptop or computer, your other gadgets, may also be hacked or stolen. For example, let’s say you get up from your seat to get some coffee. An “enterprising” individual can quickly use that short period to check your phone, or worse, steal it all together and gain access to other computers your gadget may be in synch with. Having visible security cameras installed in your coworking space can make would-be cyber crime perpetrators think twice about stealing your devices.
Before checking out how good the coffee is or how comfy the couches are, make sure that the coworking space you will pick to be can be that safe and protected office space you and your company absolutely need. If the coworking facility has the necessary cyber security measures in place, it just goes to show that they are most deserving of your trust—and your business as well.