How to protect the remote work environment

As described in the previous article in our special collection about Cybersecurity for Remote Work, companies operating in this model are exposed to new cyber threats and attacks that can put your business at risk.

 

In this context, the number of cyber-attacks and incidents has grown exponentially, forcing companies to urgently implement additional protection measures.

 

Since there is a track record of companies operating in remote work safely, it is interesting to analyze what has been the key to its success. And the conclusion is, that these companies focused their protection measures on three goals:

 

i) prevent remote employees from being a gateway for attacks,

 

ii) avoid illegitimate remote accesses to corporate applications and data and

 

iii) monitor all remote accesses with special granularity and attention.

Cyber risks and threats of remote work, an article from our special collection about remote work and cybersecurity

I) How to prevent employees in remote work from being a gateway to attacks:

 

New generation of antivirus in the workplace

Evolution of the traditional antivirus to prevent attacks against vulnerabilities in operating systems and applications. All PCs must have this elementary security mechanism and ensure that it is functioning correctly and updated with the latest signatures and configurations;

 

Safe internet browsing

Implemented by software that controls access to the DNS and that works in addition to antivirus. These solutions implement controls to prevent browsing on ephemeral and malicious websites, which are used to steal credentials and install malware;

 

Continuous PC software updates

To minimize known vulnerabilities it is critical to keep operating systems and browsers up to date. In remote work, it is more difficult to guarantee updates are made, but there are solutions that enable employees to be compliant before accessing to the corporate networks;

 

II) How to avoid illegitimate access to corporate applications and data:

 

Adopt multi-factor authentication mechanisms

To maintain granular and contextualized management of data and applications accesses. These mechanisms must be integrated with internal applications and cloud services, to facilitate monitoring and alerts against incidents such as identity theft;

 

Protect the use of cloud services

Companies are responsible for the good usage of cloud services. Cloud providers are well protected against external threats against own infrastructure, but not against side threats between users. It is therefore important to add new security controls to minimize such threats;

 

Force the use of VPN for secure access to critical applications

Although all applications are important, there are some that are more critical, for which it is important to have additional controls. In a remote work context, in which accesses are often made through insecure wireless networks, VPNs are an excellent solution for forcing point-to-point encryption and controlling accesses;

 

Reinforce backup policies to protect information from remote

Workstations, servers, and collaborative cloud services. The existence of a catalog of searchable and available historical information that allows access to updated copies of business files and emails, is essential for organizations to recover from attacks such as ransomware.

 

III) How to ensure visibility and the monitoring of remote accesses:

 

Monitor and control accesses from unusual geographies

Accesses from users that apparently are being made from countries other than expected, are an indication of a potential incident;

 

Monitor user behavior and usage pattern

Changes in user behavior, such as access to applications and data outside of their typical scope of work, should be reported and analyzed carefully to ensure that they are not an incident;

 

Integrated analysis of the company’s digital risk

With remote work, companies’ digital risk is now spread over many systems and contexts. It is essential to have an integrated view on exposure to cyber threats, to prioritize and decide where and when to act to minimize the risks identified.

 

 

Remote work clearly brings new cybersecurity challenges, but as we share throughout this article, there are several solutions already tested by many companies, which minimize risk and ensure your company’s cyber resilience. Follow our suggestions to protect yourself and don’t let this new telework context put your business at risk.

 

OutScope designed, together with our partners, solutions that mitigate most of the cyber risks of remote work. Learn more at Cybersecurity Solutions for Telework and Talk to Us to learn how we can help you ensure your company’s cybersecurity in telework.

 

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