When the novel coronavirus first hit back in March of 2020, no one could have ever predicted what was to come. Now, nearly a year later, millions of people are still working from home, with no real end in sight. This new remote workforce left organizations scrambling to find ways to secure tens of millions of new vulnerable endpoints, created by at home workers. As the pandemic drags on and businesses face the new normal of a remote landscape, technology teams are considering what changes need to be made in order to make sure their infrastructure is secured in the correct capacity. Since remote work doesn’t offer the same safeguards and security controls of a traditional office environment, cybersecurity teams need to create new solutions to maintain security for a remote workforce.
Employees Should Use a VPN
It is inadvisable for employees who are working from home to use an unsecured public Wi-Fi. Even if they are logging in to their personal Wi-Fi network, experts recommend that organizations require employees to use a VPN to connect workers to the organization’s internal network. A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, encrypts and transmits data while it travels from one place to another on the internet, which can help to improve online privacy. All employees working remotely should exclusively use the VPN when working and accessing company information systems.
Multi Factor Authentication and Authorization
The rapid increase to a work from home environment has created an increased need for using multi factor authentication and authorization. Adding additional two-factor authentication helps to ensure that only authorized employees and administrators are allowed to access information systems. Having a strong password just isn’t enough anymore. Two-factor authentication and two-step verification adds an additional layer of protection to an employee’s accounts.
Secure Collaboration Apps
Collaboration and messaging apps such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, and WhatsApp have become increasingly popular because they provide an easy way for employees to communicate with one another. However, with any new technology apps comes new opportunities for hackers. Hackers use these platforms to infiltrate enterprise networks and gain access to sensitive company data. As a result, security teams need to be sure their collaboration apps are fully downloadable rather than existing on the web, require unique passwords, only allow tightly controlled access, and offer some degree of encryption. It is imperative that companies maintain high security standards with collaboration apps to avoid revealing sensitive company information.
Keep Your Data Safe
All important files should be backed up regularly and stored securely in the cloud. There should also be firewalls in place to create a barrier between your employees’s devices and the internet by closing ports to communication. Ensure antivirus software is in place and fully updated and make sure encryption tools are installed on employee’s devices to secure communication between fellow workers.
Coronavirus related scams are increasing and hackers are preying on remote workers. Phishing, fraud, and other attacks are on the rise as hackers try to take advantage of these less-than ideal working environments. The key to maintaining cybersecurity is to make sure that employees are educated about potential threats, common risks, and how to identify potential attacks. They should also be educated on best practices to ensure they are following cybersafety protocol at all times.