What You Need to Consider to Securely Permit Remote Work

What You Need to Consider to Securely Permit Remote Work

At any given time, a business needs to consider its security, but this need only exacerbates when its employees are working remotely. With the coronavirus pandemic still in play, the likelihood is that your employees are in this situation has risen dramatically. In order to maintain your organizational security, you need to consider the many factors that a remote workforce can introduce.

Let’s review some of these factors.

Personally-Owned Technology

Just as in the workplace itself, personal devices are a major risk factor when an employee is working from home.

Consider the activities that are typically done on a workstation, as compared to those that are typically done on the personal computer. They are very different. While a workstation generally requires access to a relatively limited number of resources, websites, and programs, a lot more is comparatively done on a personal device. Online shopping, casual browsing, and social networking are far more common, which can all open up a system to more threats.

You also have to consider that the average employee isn’t going to be prone to securing their own devices… at least, not in comparison to how their workplace devices should be secured.

Furthermore, because many employees are likely to use a personal device, they will need to have some means of accessing your company’s resources. This is commonly accomplished through the use of remote access software. However, this software is frequently targeted by cybercriminals, putting the company at risk.

Insecure Connections

On a related note, your employees are going to need access to your network in order to work remotely (or access to the Internet, at the very least). Yet, the same issue with personally-owned technology bleeds over into the connections that your employees use. Network connections in the home, as we’ve already established, simply aren’t going to be nearly as secure as the ones that are accessible in the office as the same standards aren’t being enforced. Budget routers and modems will typically feature a lack of integrated security and support from the manufacturer, as do the connected devices that are found everywhere nowadays. 

If this inherent insecurity isn’t resolved by additional measures and best practices, attackers can take advantage of it. Publicly-accessible hotspots and some home networks feature minimal protections and are therefore insufficient for professional use as well. Fake Wi-Fi networks are common amongst attackers as a means of fooling their targets into leaving themselves vulnerable.

User Behaviors

Finally, you also need to consider how your employees are treating their security. The concept of phishing attacks and spoofing isn’t exactly top-of-mind when someone is at home, but the threats are still there. You need to be sure that your team understands that all the same security policies and procedures are going to be in place while they work remotely, and actually become even more important.

Unfortunately, while it is less common than one might initially assume, employee misconduct is something that needs to be considered whenever remote work is implemented. Whether an employee is slacking off throughout the day, or even going rogue, you need to be sure that your employees are sufficiently monitored to catch (and ideally mitigate) these threats.

As a managed service provider, White Mountain IT Services is here to assist your business. That doesn’t change just because your team may not be in the office. For help in putting the solutions in place that can minimize these risks, reach out to our team at 603-889-0800.

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