Many companies have already initiated the take-up of cloud services which can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet link, while others have had to shore up their remote access capabilities to provide access to internally-hosted services.

Staff have now been empowered to work from home, and with remote working being a reality for the foreseeable future, what are the top three security considerations with a remote workforce that need to be brought to the forefront of conversation?

1. Visibility

Users may have corporate anti-virus or anti-malware installed, but can you see if they’re up to date?  Users may not be connecting to on-premise AV servers for updates, so there may not be any log of updates they get directly from the Internet.  If a piece of malware is detected on someone’s laptop, would you know if the member of staff didn’t call it in?  Cloud-managed endpoint protection can help address these issues.  Similarly, good anti-malware solutions automatically send security-related data from the laptop to the cloud for analysis by AI-driven systems so an operations team get visibility into any suspicious activity.

2. Protection

Without the benefit of your office-based next-generation firewalls protecting users at home, how secure are they?  Do they have intrusion protection features available to them? Some Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions can offer traffic inspection in the cloud to provide advanced security features.

3. Phishing / Social engineering campaigns

While remote working doesn’t have a direct impact on these attacks, it’s not as easy for a member of staff to be able to lean across to a colleague and ask “does this seem suspicious to you?” Cloud-based Email Protection systems can validate emails and automatically block them if deemed suspicious.  Other solutions provide validation where a suspicious email can be sent to an address that automatically validates it and alerts an operations team if it proves to be problematic.  Some solutions can even simulate a phishing campaign and automatically provide remedial educational training videos for the staff who succumbed to it.

Our Thoughts

As the landscape changes, you need to consider how your security posture has been impacted and understand what steps you need to take to keep it robust. Above are three security considerations with a remote workforce but there are more and you need to understand the unique challenges your company will face.

Although the pandemic has changed the way IT teams deliver their services to their users, in many cases the teams are stretched and are experiencing difficulty in maintaining operations. However, there are several solutions that can help relieve security concerns and lighten the load of securely delivering a service to your users.

Why the global pandemic and instant move to remote working has made companies vulnerable?

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