The remote work movement was already well underway prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. However, when the nation was struck by the pandemic, many states had to implement mitigation measures and stay-at-home orders in order to slow the spread of the virus. As a result, businesses across every industry had to quickly adopt and deploy remote work solutions in order to continue to meet the needs of clients.
Crisis isn’t the best driver of mass business initiative rollouts. When it comes to IT infrastructure, it’s important that we circle back to ensure our remote workers are supported by the proper security protocols and that the business is protected as well. In this discussion, Apex Technology breaks down a best use security protocol for your remote workers
A Multi-layered Approach to Remote Work
Small to medium businesses have the most need for IT solutions that help establish proper work practices and protocols from the field. This often stems from the fact that they often do not have the resources already in place nor the budget to manage and maintain the infrastructure themselves.
Remote work arrangements, in order to remain secure and protect your brand from data breaches and other exposure, should implement many of the same protocols that are in place for your employees to follow when working from the office.
Establish a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Policy
Because your remote workers are operating beyond the confines of your existing IT infrastructure, it’s important that you provide additional layers of protection from the field.
- Provide pre-configured laptops and other mobile devices with firewalls, antivirus, and anti-malware already in place and locked down.
- Configure company devices to perform full data backups to the cloud.
- Manage and maintain a list of allowed third-party vendors to mitigate exposure and ensure service level agreements are in place to establish liability.
- Establish robust user account permissions and separation of responsibilities according to the principle of least privilege – users can only access what they need to do their jobs according to their level of responsibility.
Require Employees to Use the Same Remote Access Tools
Employees can use either virtual private networks, direct application access, or remote computer access options. Whichever you choose that best fits your organization’s needs, ensure all employees are using the same solutions in the same manner. Whichever solution is utilized, ensure that you’re deploying with encryption methods to support access controls. This can be done using either the advanced encryption standard or an end-to-end solution.
Establish Two-Factor Authentication In Conjunction with Password Management Software
Social engineering leading to the acquisition of credentials is the most common method used by malicious actors to hack into business systems. Utilizing a robust password management software that rotates and randomizes password generation is one way to keep credentials safe. Another is to ensure two-factor authentication is in place so that access cannot be achieved without
Education Program is Crucial
This cannot be stressed enough: cybersecurity training is vital to your organization’s long-term safety when it comes to your workers, remote or otherwise. Employee negligence or lack of education accounts for the majority of data breaches, and can easily be mitigated through a monthly education program that teaches how to guard against specific types of attacks.
- What’s required to physically secure devices, including best practices for where to work, logging off of unused devices, and how to set up a workspace that keeps others from shoulder surfing
- Educate employees about proper internet usage through the use of internet restriction applications in the event company devices are not distributed or on the off chance a personal device is used to conduct business.
- Teach how to best guard against social engineering attacks, especially phishing and vishing attacks.
Apex Technologies Knows Security
Ensuring your workforce is following the proper security protocols is just one aspect of our managed IT Security solution services. To learn how we can support your remote workforce and your organization, reach out to our team of support specialists to talk more about your business’s needs.