Social distancing is one of the important ways of limiting the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. Because of this, more businesses are asking their employees to work from home (WFH). However, the transition toward distributed team setups is increasing vulnerabilities to cybersecurity threats.
According to Security Predictions for 2020, organizations would have to be wary of risks introduced by work from home arrangements.
What are Hackers After?
Your remote workforce is an attractive target because the personal information and credentials they use (such as personal banking details, Netflix, webmail, etc.) can be easily sold for a profit on the dark web. At the same time, your business poses a much more lucrative payday for cybercriminals. If your employees use unsecured channels to connect to your corporate network, hackers can hitch a ride to steal sensitive company IPs and large volumes of customer data. Through phishing, cybercriminals can also hijack your employees’ corporate email or other accounts to gain access to your network.
How to Ensure a Secure Setup
You can minimize the risks that come with remote working. Here are some practical security tips that you can apply to mitigate threats:
- Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA). Make sure to set up logins to have more than just password authentication, as passwords can be hacked, leaked, or stolen. Using MFA is a good way to verify identity by requiring additional credentials such as a code sent to a smartphone, the answer to a security question, a fingerprint, or a facial recognition scan. At Charles IT, this form of authentication is utilized heavily.
- Preconfigure WFH arrangements. Assess your security protocols and establish clear guidelines on your remote work policy. Make sure they are equipped with intrusion prevention and protection against data loss and theft, preferably through IT-verified company-issued devices. Charles IT provides its employees with laptops equipped with protection software. This means employees do not have to use their personal laptops and prevent data or credentials from being stolen.
- Make sure to provide enough Virtual Private Network (VPN) licenses. The increase in your remote workforce will require you to have enough VPN licenses to accommodate all your staff. Monitor and regulate access to VPNs and require your employees to renew their logins periodically. For example, only allow a maximum of 12 hours of access each day per user, and automatically log users off.
- Train and educate your employees about online scams. Scammers and hackers will take advantage of the collective fear and misinformation surrounding current issues like the COVID-19 pandemic. Online scams are sent through emails, malicious domains, fake apps, or social media hoaxes. Most of them may claim to provide shipping or banking notifications and alerts, COVID-19 information, and fake news about vaccines and cures. Discuss these threats with your employees so that they will know and understand the importance of online safety. Charles IT understands the importance of educating employees. Your business is only as strong as its weakest link so we deploy security awareness training to all of our employees; we can do the same for you.
- Ensure that your remote employees are outfitted with robust security software for all devices used for work. Make sure they are regularly updated and running the latest versions. If you’re looking for the best in class security software, Charles IT can equip your business so you’re protected from whatever comes your way during these uncertain times.
Make certain that you’re prepared and well-equipped for your business’s shift to remote working. A security assessment from Charles IT will help you identify the areas of greatest concern when it comes to protecting your team and your critical company data. Reach out to our team to learn how we can secure your business’s remote work setup.