If the past three years have proven anything in the business world, it’s that remote working is here to stay. For many teams this is a great thing! Flexible working practices has many benefits for businesses in just about every industry. Unfortunately, the rise in remote working has created a huge opportunity for cyber criminals.
In the office, staff always have quick access to a second opinion. See an email that doesn’t look right? Just ask the person next to you what they think. At home, you don’t have that option, and hackers are taking advantage of it.
At Brigantia, we want to help our partners, and their customers work in a smarter and more secure way. To achieve this in the long term, we must start looking at the cybersecurity practices that can support them not just in the office, but anywhere in the world. Here are some best practices we think can help you to achieve them, as well as the services that make them possible.
Maintain multiple lines of defence
User error is the number one cause of cybersecurity breaches and is greatly increased amongst remote workers. This doesn’t make for great reading, but it’s no reason to abandon your remote policy. What it does mean is that you need to make steps to protect your business.
Your firewall should be your first port of call. You need a service that can just as easily protect home workers as it does in the office. For this, we’d recommend a Next Generation Firewall.
Next Generation Firewalls are a fantastic way to protect your business, they proactively block malware, phishing attacks, spam, and direct hacks from reaching users and devices across your network. What’s relevant for home workers though is the fact that NG firewalls continue working just about anywhere. At Brigantia, the NG firewall we recommend is Arista Edge Threat Management, which we love for its scalability.
Ensure remote staff don’t miss out on training
As we mentioned, cyberattacks rely on user error. While remote workers are more susceptible, you can take steps to change this in your business. A firewall is incredibly valuable, but you need to take steps to ensure that you catch any threat that manages to make it through.
For true peace of mind, you need to put regular training in place. Thankfully, there’s software that can help you with this.
KnowBe4 uses regular training exercises to help you and your team master the social engineering tactics used by cyber criminals. This service regularly sends out new exercises to test your team and will update you on the results. With hackers’ strategies changing all the time, it’s a fantastic way to keep your team on their toes.
Is a VPN enough?
You’re likely familiar with why a VPN is important. It means you don’t have to connect to unsafe public Wi-Fi and allows businesses to share and receive private information from remote locations.
However, when teams are working remotely, they’re more at risk from malware, or cyber-criminals using wireless sniffers to access sensitive information sent over public Wi-Fi or consumer broadband services. To protect your remote staff’s data, we recommend using a service like Heimdal in conjunction with your VPN.
Heimdal acts as an extra layer of security between your device and your VPN. It analyses any data you share and receive, and blocks security breaches and any attempts to redirect this data to cybercriminals.
While VPNs are great for maintaining your remote staff’s privacy, privacy isn’t enough anymore. Heimdal provides more than privacy, it provides security.
Put a patch management system in place
While human error does account for a huge portion of cybersecurity breaches, it’s not the only thing you should be aware of. Many high-profile attacks, such as 2017’s infamous ‘WannaCry’ NHS breach, have been caused by hackers exploiting simple flaws in software endpoints.
These flaws are usually patched out by providers, but unless your business has a patch management process in place then you’re still vulnerable. Working away from the office means remote staff are even more susceptible.
Businesses use more devices and software than ever. To keep them all up to date with the latest security patches, we recommend using a service like Action1. Action1 is cloud remote monitoring and management software that allows your business to roll out updates throughout all business endpoints and software. You can even use it to deploy custom and third-party applications, perfect for teams using specialist tools.
This process usually requires some hefty on-premise infrastructure, with Action1 you can handle it in a few clicks.
We hope that these simple tips give you a starting point to kickstart your remote working security efforts. To find out more about any of the services here, get in touch with the Brigantia team using the button below.