These unprecedented times are creating rapid change in our workforce. In recent weeks, employers are scrambling to enable their workforces to work remotely. This evolving “new normal” is not only stressful, it is likely to remain well after today’s health crisis has passed. Here are some key recommendations to help navigate your organization through this difficult time.
Remote Access Tools: Employers need to ensure sufficient processing speeds on user devices, that Internet connections are fast enough, and that appropriate software licenses are in place to support activity. There are a host of remote access platforms available. Understanding cost, ease of implementation and fit with your users, are keys to success.
A VPN is not enough: VPNs provide privacy, not security. Hackers are aware of this. So it is important that employers protect their assets appropriately. This may include cloud-based solutions that do not even require a virtual private network.
Connections to the Internet: Making sure an employee's Internet connection isn’t compromised is important. A mobile hotspot is one way to safeguard against remote connection risks. All major phone carriers provide hotspots.
Home Wireless Networks: Home users should disable Wi-Fi Protected Setup, or “WPS”. WPS is designed to make it easy for people to connect new devices. Unfortunately, it also makes it easier for attackers to connect. If the user needs WPS to connect a new device, only enable WPS temporarily.
Firewalls: The protection offered by residential modems provides limited security. The best defense is a hardware firewall. But at a minimum, a software-based firewall is strongly recommended. Firewalls allow blocking specific content, such as content from malicious sites and suspect countries.
Passwords and Cloud Security: Multi-factor authentication (“MFA” or “2FA”) is strongly recommended. This requires users to verify their identities through at least two steps, usually a password on the computer, followed by a code send to a mobile device. Additionally, password management software is available to easily generate and manage highly complex passwords.
Computer Security Updates and Firewall Patches: The best way to increase security is to stay on top of security updates for operating systems and programs. This includes staying up to date with security patches for firewalls, as well.
Backup and Disaster Recovery Systems: Cloud and off-site backup services are readily available and inexpensive. These are highly recommended to protect against physical loss of hardware, as well as recover data that may be compromised by malware attacks.
We hope you find this information helpful as you navigate your organization through these uncertain times. For additional assistance, please contact us at WolfConsulting.com. We’re here to help.