If you’re hunkered down at home because of the coronavirus pandemic and trying to go about your working day without any distractions, you’ll want to avoid being the victim of any attack on your computer or smartphone. Not only do you put your own personal data at risk by failing to take some extra precautions, but because of the sudden jump in folk working from home, you might be putting your business in danger too.
Some companies are sagely scoring brownie points with customers and the wider security community by making some of their services available for free. It’s responsible capitalism in action and a little ray of light in what’s been an otherwise bleak few weeks. “It’s difficult to predict what the next few weeks will look like, but we need to work together to protect our teams, loved ones, and local communities,” wrote John Shiner, CEO of 1Password. “Reduce unnecessary travel — including travel to and from the office — and be empathetic to the challenges that remote work can bring to your teams and their families.”
If you haven’t already got a password manager or two-factor authentication, you might be wise to avail yourself of some of these offers.
Free password managers and more for remote workers
Networking giant Cisco, for instance, is letting customers of its Duo Security tool go above their user limit as their employees increasingly work from home, whilst new customers can get a free license. Duo Security’s primary service is a two-factor authentication tool that can be added to web and mobile apps. When a user wants to login, they have to get another key from Duo. That can come in the form of a simple phone call, text or a code from the Duo app. Cisco’s offering the same deal for its web security tool Umbrella and its VPN product AnyConnect. It’s making those deals available until July 1.
Canadian company 1Password, meanwhile, has removed the 30-day trial period on 1Password Business, meaning the first six months are free. The usual cost is $7.99 per head. Its password manager keeps all your logins in one place so you don’t have to remember them. Like competitor products, like LastPass or Dashlane, it’ll suggest more secure passwords too. If you or your company doesn’t already have a password manager, it’s not a bad place to start.
And OneLogin has made its Trusted Experience Platform free for all K-12 schools, colleges and universities doing remote learning over the coming weeks and months. The product includes single sign-on (SSO), so students and teachers don’t have to keep signing into different apps. It remains secure as each app checks in with a trusted third-party who can verify they’re the right user. OneLogin’s tool also provides multi-factor authentication (a Duo competitor).
As Forbes reported earlier this week, Zoom has made its videoconferencing tools available free to K-12 schools too.
This page will continue to be updated as we learn about other COVID-19-coping security tech.
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