The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a remarkable shift towards remote work and distance learning for many businesses and educational institutions. Almost overnight, staff and students relied on their home networks for work and school. But, in too many cases, organizations have failed to take adequate steps to protect home network resources from newly remote end users. As a result, home network security monitoring has become a trending topic.
In many cases, today’s home networks are made up of more than just laptops. Everything from thermostats and smart speakers to refrigerators is connected to the Internet. A 2019 survey by consulting firm Deloitte found that the average American household has 11 connected devices.
They are attractive targets for hackers who can find their way into the home network through any potential openings of these devices. With many workers on stay-at-home orders and more learning taking place remotely, employers and employees alike need to be proactive in monitoring home network security.
Tracking devices and internet activity
Consumers have several home network security monitoring options, including free or relatively inexpensive services that alert users to serious threats and deflect attacks.
But end users should also take other steps to protect their home networks – starting by changing the default network name on their router. This simple step will prevent cyber attackers from identifying the make and model number of the router. With this information, attackers can discover known vulnerabilities that they can exploit.
End users should also configure a strong password. To make sure the password is difficult to crack, use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Also consider using a password generator to make sure the home network is secure.
Consumers can also use a firewall to block threats, but that’s not enough. Home network security monitoring services rely on cognitive technology, including machine learning, to identify potentially dangerous trafficking devices. These services, which are provided through an ISP, track devices on the home network and malicious Internet domains. Home network monitoring services alert users to threats and can automatically block websites serving malicious content.
End users can configure their own policies to prevent unauthorized sites or users from communicating with their devices. Home network monitoring services are generally affordable and billed monthly. Some are free with the purchase of a firewall or other security device.
This was last published in September 2020
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