August 2021. Here we go again. Another Lockdown. Are we having fun yet?
We’re back working from home. The scramble to get businesses up and running from the lounges and kitchens of their staff was possibly not as bad this time around. We’ve all been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. Seasoned Professionals!
In the wake of this pandemic, our workforce has become a remote workforce. And once the current lockdown is lifted, businesses will transition back from being fully remote to somewhere between at-home and in-office, the balance of which will vary from business to business. The conversation is less about remote work but more around the concept of “work from anywhere”. However, going back to the office does not equate to going back to normal. Pre-pandemic practices are now no longer good enough. Organisations must now move forward and look to secure their new “work from anywhere” ecosystem
To maintain a good standard of security, businesses need their cybersecurity infrastructure to work just as strongly for employees at home as it does in the office. The cloud is the only way to securely connect the home and office effectively. A key benefit of the cloud is the ease and speed it enables for deploying solutions. With employees working on corporate or personal devices, at home or in an office, on a corporate network or home Wi-Fi, the cloud provides IT departments consistent, unmatched visibility across the board and rapid scalability and access to work devices at home or in office when needed.
At the beginning of this Covid-19 mess, organisations were in a mad scramble to become functional remote workforces. Now organisations must remove the stopgap measures and implement long-term strategies and solutions that can sustain and secure this “work from anywhere” workforce.
Some things we need consider …
1. Home users should not take cybersecurity for granted
The ‘work from home’ model means home computers are a prime target for cybercriminals. They always were anyway, but it’s more so now, because many employees are using their PCs and Macs for office work. This will involve ongoing training and awareness campaigns.
2. Cybersecurity as a priority
The rise of cyberattacks against organisations will continue and the size of the business isn’t protection enough either. You must exercise strict cybersecurity hygiene, deploy a good endpoint protection, and ensure security of home Wi-Fi networks. If left unprotected, these systems can become the backdoor cybercriminals use to enter the organisational network of a bigger and more lucrative business.
3. Adopt a zero-trust approach
Organizations are adopting a zero-trust strategy, instilling a set of security protocols that do not trust anything inside or outside the perimeter. Their security framework verifies everything trying to establish contact with its systems, and only then access is granted. Your staff need to be aware that they can't trust any email that reaches their inbox and any link within. If a website they visit wants them to click on a link, they cannot trust it. Accept the fact that someone is trying to crack open your passwords and access privileged login credentials. Verify anything and everything.
4. Leverage VPNs
A low hanging security fruit in cybersecurity best practices you can pick is using a VPN that encrypts all data being shared between you and your organisation, so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Whenever your remote workforce is using home computers to transmit information back and forward from the office, it should be done through a VPN only, and should never be turned off while work/session is active.
5. Optimize patch management
Never forget to patch your systems. This includes both OS and application software. Zero-day attacks have become prevalent. The reason why these are successful is that they exploit hidden or unknown vulnerabilities in an application/software before a patch is made available. Typically, reputed software companies come up with patches quickly to plug the security weakness.
6. Get an antivirus/endpoint protection solution
Another piece of low hanging fruit and an easy win. Deploy advanced cybersecurity for your home PCs and Macs. One which offers advanced ransomware protection, cutting-edge artificial intelligence malware detection, and much more to protect your computer from never-before-seen threats.