June 30, 2020
One of the largest changes to come out of the pandemic is the way in which we work. Before COVID-19, many businesses — especially those in Silicon Valley — were already starting to make a transition into remote working. Showing up at the office for a standard 9 to 5 shift was slowly becoming a thing of the past. But now, this trend has increased exponentially, and nearly all organizations that can adopt remote working have done so.
But adopting and adapting are two different things. Now more than ever, it’s important for organizations to develop the IT infrastructure and cybersecurity practices necessary for this transition — a transition that may end up more or less permanent even after the emergency passes.
Remote worker training is a must.
We live in a time where entire cities are crippled due to ransomware, and data breaches occur on an almost daily basis. Meanwhile, the average person does not have the experience required to maintain strong cybersecurity hygiene in their private home. Given enough time, even the most tech-savvy person is likely to make a mistake. From insecure router settings to family sharing, all it takes is one slip-up to compromise your organization.
Many of these risks can at least be mitigated through proper training. It’s important to communicate to employees about the threats they face — especially when they don’t have office protections available, like office firewalls or encryption. Remote workers should be trained to spot security threats. They should know how to identify phishing attacks and Business Email Compromise scams, and should be frequently tested in this knowledge.
Make use of cloud security and VPN connectivity.
In a previous article, we wrote about working in the cloud and maintaining a strong cloud security system. The key benefit of cloud computing is that it provides a centralized hub for all of your employees to get their work done from anywhere. Simultaneously, it allows businesses to have greater flexibility on how information and data is accessed for all employees. Deploying IT infrastructure in the cloud also allows the IT administrator to work from anywhere, without having to be on-site in the office server room.
Use multi-factor authentication.
Adding multi-factor authentication should be standard practice for just about everything now. While not an absolute 100% means of keeping you protected (no security system is), it still helps a lot, and its use is recommended by the FBI. It adds yet another layer of security that IT teams can leverage with remote employees. As each employee logs into their VPN or cloud-based application, a secondary form of identification — usually an SMS text — is also required to log in. This secondary form of authentication protects against unauthorized access to the network or the use of stolen credentials.
We find ourselves in an odd state of transition right now. Technology is growing more powerful, cybersecurity threats are evolving, and in the middle of it all, our working habits are changing. Maintaining security was challenging enough when everyone performed tasks in specific buildings at designated work locations. IT now has to be flexible enough to accommodate workers from anywhere — namely in their own homes. For a consultation on how we can help your remote workforce remain secure, call us. We can provide and equip you with that flexibility.