Security Concerns for the Remote Workforce
From virus outbreaks like COVID-19 to unexpected weather emergencies, there are many reasons that working remotely could become a necessity. However, a sudden shift to a work-from-home policy during the coronavirus pandemic could increase cyber risks for companies and their users.
Here are some important things to consider:
- Remote devices, such as home computers, are outside the organization’s managed security boundary and don’t always have the same protections in place
- If employees are working from home computers, they need to make sure they're working on supported, modern operating systems with security updates applied
- Home computers often lack quality antivirus software. Organizations should be prepared to provide antivirus software to employees if they expect them to use personal devices
- Home computers are often shared with others who may not follow safe computing practices
- Personal email is subject to phishing attacks and often doesn’t have the same protections as enterprise email solutions
- A compromised home computer can be just as much of a threat to your data as a system sitting on the network
- Employees should be encouraged to make sure home WiFi, routers, and firewalls are running the latest updates
Fortunately, there are many things that businesses can do to limit risk throughout the coronavirus pandemic, such as:
- Ensure cybersecurity policies, guidelines and programs are in place to secure data and systems
- Teach employees how to identify and respond to phishing attacks
- Do not allow workers to share computers or other devices
- Encrypt data and virtual private network (VPN) traffic
- Apply regular security updates across all business devices
- Require two-factor or multi-factor authentication on all business devices
- Leverage mobile device management and mobile application management solutions.
If you are unsure whether you are following security best practices, contact IT Solutions to discuss.