4 Tips to Increase the Cybersecurity of Your Remote Workforce
- Posted by Compass Computing Group, Inc.
- On August 25, 2020
- 0 Comments
- advanced security, cybersecurity, information technology, programming, tech companies in portland
In the current environment, it looks like remote work is here to stay for the foreseeable future. With abrupt lockdowns and disruptions, many businesses were forced into work-from-home arrangements with minimal preparation and planning. As a result, we’ve seen an uptick in cybersecurity incidents over the past couple months. Cybercriminals have been taking advantage of poor preparedness and security compliance to target businesses when they’re at their most vulnerable.
How cybersecure is your work-from-home team? We’re sharing 4 tips here to transform your remote team into advanced security experts. These are important first steps you’ll want to take as you build a more resilient, secure digital working environment.
1. Consider the Cloud
Data access is a key cybersecurity edge that cloud solutions have over VPN. When your remote team connects to your network via VPN, they’re often accessing and storing that data on their local, potentially vulnerable devices. Virtualized solutions, like a hosted desktop, enable remote access without exposing your critical data and apps to less secure environments.
Remote information technology is better on the cloud
If you’ve been on the fence about migrating to the cloud, the current business environment provides an excellent opportunity to start taking the first steps. The cloud isn’t just about productivity and flexibility. Cloud-based security solutions are more resilient to today’s remote working threats. And, because the programming of cloud-based security solutions takes remote connectivity into account, they are faster and more reliable.
VPNs are slower and less safe
VPNs have been around for over 20 years. While they were designed to enable remote business connectivity, current VPN systems simply weren’t designed with today’s remote working needs in mind. When a good chunk of your workforce tries to use your current VPN solution, performance takes a massive hit, impacting your productivity. But speed isn’t the only issue with VPNs. They’re often less safe than cloud-based solutions.
2. Adopt Zero Trust Network Access
Zero Trust is an approach to advanced security that takes implicit trust out of the equation. A conventional VPN-based network works a lot like a gate. It keeps unauthorized users out but doesn’t do a good job of monitoring and controlling what trusted users do on the inside. If a cybercriminal wants to wreak havoc on your network, all they have to do is gain trusted access. With so many workers and third-parties connecting remotely to your network with implicit trust, the risk of a malicious actor gaining access is exponentially higher.
Assume Zero Trust to maximize security
As the name suggests, Zero Trust Network Access assumes zero implicit trust for every user and device on the network. Zero Trust Network Access shifts the security perimeter from around your network to around individual users and devices. Your information technology team can configure granular levels of access on a “need-to-know” basis. This means users and devices only access the data and applications they’re authorized to do so.
3. Reinforce Cybersecurity Awareness
You are only ever as strong as your weakest link, your employees. Even if you have a best-of-breed layered solution in place, your employees are vulnerable to phishing, ransomware and other threats.
Building a culture of advanced security
When augmenting the security of your remote workforce, it’s important to make security a key part of your work culture. Cybersecurity training and awareness workshops go a long way toward molding a workforce that’s aware and proactive about security threats. Clear communication is a must here. Your employees need to know what your remote security protocols are, why they matter and how to implement them. Cybersecurity awareness is a process, not an end-goal. This makes it important to continuously evaluate employee awareness, identify gaps and iterate your approach.
4. Maintain Regulatory Compliance
With the amount of uncertainty and change, you also need to recognize that compliance is a moving target. The answer is to keep on iterating and improving, to enhance your security preparedness every day.
Compliance matters now more than ever
Building a more resilient, cybersecure remote workforce isn’t just a broad vision. Regulatory compliance frameworks like NIST and ISO-27001 give you clear, measurable targets to work toward. It’s important to build security compliance into every process — you can’t afford to slip up, even if it’s only to take a Zoom call.
Assess Your Cyber-Readiness
Transitioning to work-from-home was a monumental challenge initially. Now that many of the initial teething issues are sorted out, it’s critical that you evaluate the security of your remote working environment. Look toward the cloud, trust no one, reinforce awareness and build compliance into everything you do.
As one of the leading tech companies in Portland, with over 25 years of experience, Compass is the ideal partner to help you build a more resilient, cybersecure remote work environment. Yes, the world’s changing. But we have the expertise to help you navigate the “new normal.” Call 503-691-5706 or reach out today to learn how we can transform your remote security. We handle all things information technology and cybersecurity so you can focus on your business.