Network Security Tips for Remote Workers
25 October 2019
Category: Fraud
25 October 2019,

Many companies are embracing “remote teams” and allowing their employees the opportunity to work from home or telecommute. However, home IT devices are still subjected to many of the same threats as on-site business devices. Unsecured off-site routers, modems and other network devices can cause big headaches for employers, and poorly configured home devices can affect the entire organization. The Center for Internet Security Inc. (CIS) has published the CIS Telework and Small Office Network Security Guide to help combat this issue.

According to Forbes, 38 percent of teleworkers lack the technological support they need to do their jobs. The guide offers recommendations for purchasing equipment and basic network and device setup to help organizations secure their remote employees’ home routers and modems against digital threats. Securing these network devices is critical as they act as an on-ramp for internal networks to access the internet. As a result, they are subject to scans and attacks from outside networks. The threat surface grows as teleworking expands.

Threats can include:

  • spying on browsing habits and web activities
  • harming connected devices
  • exploiting vulnerabilities within the routers
  • The guide also highlights network management, authenticating and encrypting traffic, and maintaining security.

“As businesses and individuals gain productivity through remote access and telework, they have to match that with a focus on security,” said Tony Sager, executive vice president at CIS. “The CIS Controls team created this guide to identify the most important security steps and configuration settings for your devices to help you improve your defenses and maintain confidence in your data and operations.”

The guide includes a network security checklist, and tells users how to map security configurations to the CIS Controls, giving employees cybersecurity protection at their remote location.

While the guide is directed toward companies and other organizations, it can also be used for personal use. CIS encourages teleworkers and other individuals to configure the security options of their commodity network devices in accordance with this guidance to help thwart future cyber-attacks.

Here’s a security checklist of configurations recommended by the Center for Internet Security Inc. that should be put into place after the correct network device is purchased. It is possible that some of the steps below are not applicable to your situation.

  • Register your device with the manufacturer
  • Change the default administrative password of all routers and modems to something unique
  • Use a unique password to access your ISP’s web portal
  • Enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. This may include accessing the ISP web portal, the router/modem, or a mobile app
  • Change the WiFi network name (i.e., SSID) password to something unique
  • Ensure the WiFi network (i.e., SSID) name does not provide any identifying information
  • Carefully guard who has knowledge of the WiFi network password
  • Turn off the 2.4 GHz or 5GHz network if you’re not using one of them
  • Move all routers and modems to a location not accessible by the general public or passersby
  • Enable automatic updates for all routers and modems
  • Turn on WPA2 or WPA3
  • Disable WPS if possible
  • Enable the router and modem firewall
  • Enable network address translation (NAT)
  • Enable DNS filtering on the router and/or modem
  • Disable UPnP


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This article has been used and reprinted with the permission of The American Land Title Association.  The material is for general information purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Title Industry Assurance Company, RRG and The American Land Title Association shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained or referenced in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal or professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice.

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