Remote work has been gaining traction in recent years as more employees crave flexibility. However, with the threat of COVID-19, remote work is no longer a fringe benefit. Instead, most employers are struggling to give all employees a quick and sudden transition to a remote setting. While this is critical to the security of society, it also poses security risks for businesses.
Increased Risk Associated With Remote Work
Although remote work helps with the social distancing needed to slow the spread of COVID-19, it also leaves certain elements of your business more vulnerable than before. It is important to be aware of the security threats that your company will face while employees continue in isolation.
One primary concern companies face is unsecured networks. At the office, companies have security measures in place to protect their network for threats. At home, workers rely on home wifi connections or public network options. It’s difficult to ensure every home network is secure, and there are limited options to secure a public network. In fact, public networks are often rife with malicious parties. Additionally, users are more likely to click on that tempting email or interesting web link at home as the fear of their colleagues seeing their screen does not exist.
While businesses and people are focused on coming together during this difficult time, less honourable individuals seek nefarious gains. There are scams circulating that are targeting remote workers. If your workforce is new to the remote lifestyle, then differentiating between scams and legitimate requests is crucial.
Your business data is at risk, and your business assets could be left vulnerable. This can threaten your company’s productivity and compromise your business integrity. These threats can ultimately limit your business’ growth potential, which can be particularly devastating during the economic downturn associated with this pandemic so far.
Options to Enhance IT Security Solutions for Remote Workers
The risks of remote work are high, but the options to protect your business are higher. As a company, there are IT security solutions that can be implemented. In fact, such measures are already thoroughly established for many companies, and it’s easy to create a process for remote workers to follow.
The first step is to make sure that all remote workers use multi-factor authentication solutions such as Cisco DUO. The key with multi-factor authentication solutions is that users must provide multiple data points to gain secure access. This authentication should be linked to encrypted communication. Many popular messaging services have encryption options. This system is simple to implement, and multi-factor authentication solutions provide a critical layer of protection.
User devices should be secured with anti-virus/anti-malware software that offers endpoint protection, detection, and remediation. Options also exist for roaming Web and DNS based security which can be applied to further protect users while they are operating from home. System updates should be completed regularly, and remote workers should be reminded to back up their data. There are plenty of affordable cloud backup options that are perfect for remote workers.
Finally, there is a strong educational component. Where your employees’ work may have slowed during the pandemic, it’s important to utilise this time effectively by educating them on web and email security. Cyber security awareness training is key to removing your company’s weakest link – the employee. Novice remote workers may not understand their security risks. Workers need to understand the potential damage of phishing emails, malicious websites and other remote work scams that they may be seeing for the first time. This is the best way to empower your employees to keep themselves and your company data safe at all times.
Value of Cisco Security Services
As your company pursues additional security for remote workers, it is important to know the available resources. Cisco is poised to provide many valuable IT security solutions. In fact, many businesses already rely on Cisco Webex meeting applications. With Webex, it is possible to conduct video conferencing, file sharing, virtual meetings and screen sharing.
While Cisco Webex meeting applications are already common, there are other options available from Cisco for these days of extraordinary need. To meet the needs beyond team collaboration, Cisco has expanded its free service options:
Cisco Umbrella is your cloud-delivered security solution, it covers remote workers no matter where they are or what device they use and provides both web and DNS based security to remote endpoints when configured correctly. Combining multiple security functions under one solution, users remain protected from malicious online content. This applies to work that is conducted on or off the network.
Cisco Duo Security verifies the identity of users on their personal devices by using two-factor authentication to grant application access. This is a zero-trust model, which means that the verification process happens before any data can be accessed from your network. Duo is an excellent tool to reduce your company’s attack surface while more workers stay home.
FREE Deployment From Kytec
Understanding your risk and possible solutions is only half the battle. Many companies also need help in implementing security measures. That is why Kytec is here to serve as your IT support. We have always been regarded as a leader in IT Security solutions, we are now proud to offer free basic deployment and support services during this critical period. Making the switch to remote work can be complicated, but with proper support, it can be done with minimal disruptions. Your business does not have to face this change alone. Kytec is here for your IT support.
Do Your Part Today
The world is facing an unprecedented challenge, and everyone must be willing to do their part. Businesses should support the transition to remote work in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Fortunately, there are ways to make this transition safe for workers and businesses. Consider the various security options to develop a plan. Kytec has the solutions you need to create a safe and productive remote work environment.