As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, many businesses are assessing how they can prioritize their employee safety and still maintain regular business operations.
One solution is to require employees work from home to avoid potential illnesses.To help ease the burden on businesses, Microsoft, Google, LogMeIn, Cisco Webex, and Zoom are providing free remote working tools.
With the likely increase in remote work, companies will have to prepare in various ways to avoid cybersecurity risks or interruptions to business. When supporting a remote workforce, understand that security controls shift. Therefore, firewalls, DNS, and IDS/IPS could be ineffective when employees head home. Most environments that support VPNs should be able to protect the remote user, be sure to account for the bandwidth of users and remote desktop sessions.
Tips from National PC
- Use a Secure WiFi Network: If possible, you should work on your secure, private home network instead of relying on public WiFi. If you send your data through an unsecured WiFi connection, you lose the power of privacy making it possible for cybercriminals to intercept your data. You may be putting personal information at risk if you are accessing your email account or sending sensitive data over a public WiFi network.
- Secure Your Home Workstation: Ensure you have fully patched and updated anti-virus and anti-malware software. It’s important to follow the same best practices you would as if you were in the office, and report any suspicious activity or concerns to internal IT or your MSP.
- Coordinate With Your Internal IT or Managed Services Provider: When working remotely, it’s crucial to continue your typical cybersecurity best practices and reach out with any questions or concerns. Business owners should coordinate with their internal IT department or Managed Services Provider prior to working remotely. If you have a company-provided laptop, this should be straight forward, but if you have to work from home and use your own computer, your IT department or MSP will advise you whether this is possible and if so, how to do it securely.