Work securely from home

Working from home in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis is a challenging transition for the entire Pack, but now more than ever, it is important to keep your personal and university data secure.

In addition to the rise of coronavirus-related scams, cybercriminals continue to exploit any vulnerability they can detect; some are laser-focusing their attacks on your mobile devices. Here are a few tips to protect yourself and the Pack when you work remotely:

Determine if your devices and data are secure enough
If you’re not sure, check out Accessing Data Securely While Working Remotely. Make sure your devices are secured for the highest data-sensitivity level you access. The more sensitive the data, the more precautions you must take, as specified in NC State Rule 08.00.18 — the Endpoint Protection Standard (EPS). This standard applies to all Pack endpoints, such as desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets — whether owned by the university or not. See also EPS FAQs.

Install antivirus software
One of the best safeguards is having approved antivirus software installed on all mobile devices, which is required per NC State Regulation 08.00.10 — Antivirus Software Requirements. See the Mobile Security at NC State website for detailed procedures. For additional information, including approved antivirus software, see NC State Antivirus Resources.

Install device updates ASAP
Install updates on your mobile devices as soon as they become available. Device updates contain security controls to combat the most recent forms of attacks; postponing an update leaves your device vulnerable. When you see an update notification, install the update as soon as you can.

Secure your mobile devices
Follow all procedures on the Mobile Security at NC State website to protect your smartphones, tablets and laptops. Detailed procedures are available for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows 10 devices.

Use a unique passphrase for every account
Never use the same password for more than one account. If one account is hacked, every account having the same password is immediately at risk. Using a passphrase is much smarter than using a password — just make it easy to remember and type. See the NC State Password Standard for requirements for your Unity account.

Use two-factor authentication (2FA)
To protect vital campus resources, NC State uses two multifactor authentication services: Duo Security and Google 2-Step. Use 2FA to add a critical barrier between your information and those who want to steal it. NC State requires all employees to use 2FA. All students will be required to use 2FA in the near future, and we strongly recommend students enable 2FA on their accounts now.

Connect to campus over the Virtual Private Network (VPN)
All students, faculty and staff must use the NC State VPN and 2FA when remotely accessing certain campus resources such as WolfPrint and many campus file services. A VPN connection is NOT needed to access services such as the MyPack Portal or G Suite.

Use the Virtual Computing Lab (VCL)
Using the NC State VCL can give you access to many high-end applications from your home computer. For assistance, see the NC State VCL website and contact your IT support group for any questions you may have. Note: You must use 2FA and connect over VPN to access the VCL from off-campus.

Here are some additional resources to keep you and the Pack secure: