Securing remote work
Ever since the pandemic began, most developers have been practising the art of remote working. While we continue to enjoy the flexibility to work in our own times, at least some of us tend to overlook the fact that our home systems can be vulnerable to cyber threats. So I thought I should share some security measures that I took as part of the remote working policy of my company Finotes.
Check-in code frequently
My laptop failed one not so fine morning. Luckily for me I was able to get on to a new machine in no time, thanks to my habit of frequent code push to Git. This habit helps. Do push the code as frequently as possible.
Keeping machine software up to date
By being outside of the office’s secure network, keeping all softwares in your devices up to date is important, which otherwise would expose our laptops to potential attacks.
AWS Virtual workspaces
I started using their desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solution Amazon Workspaces, and my team is also moving towards that. It provides on demand secure desktop terminals on a hourly or monthly basis. The best part of using Amazon Workspaces was that it provided me with machines that were configurable for specific tasks. We used their service for our Android and Web development activities.
Updating default passwords
Despite having all the necessary software and hardware firewalls installed on our machines, many forget to change the default passwords. I changed default passwords of all my services and devices, including my home wifi router. This might feel like a silly thing to do. Recently there was an incident at Nissan which proved otherwise.
Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
I further stepped up the security on my digital assets, by enabling the two-factor authentication option wherever possible, so that I will have an extra layer of security in the worst-case scenarios.
Ensuring a secure WiFi connection
I have always relied on either my home WiFi connection or 4G dongle for my internet needs. In case of unavoidable travels I carry my dongle, and make sure not to use public WiFi connections. Because you never know who controls those access points.
We developers are better prepared for a pandemic like COVID-19. Transitioning into a more technology-enabled new normal was a major challenge that probably everyone faced last year. While the pandemic disrupted the functioning of most other domains, software development more or less remained the same. The reason was that our work was well suited for flexible remote work environment and we developers were very much aware of available technology and collaboration tools.
We need to be better prepared to face the coming age of cyber threats while working in a remote working environment. After all, technology is evolving and so are cyber threats.