Cybersecurity Best Practices for Safeguarding Remote Employees Throughout the COVID-19 Crisis

With attacks escalating it is crucial to follow cybersecurity measures for keeping remote workers protected against phishing attacks and malware infections.

Companies need to make sure to utilize the newest versions of VPNs and apply patches immediately. The DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) gave another caution on March 13 regarding patching and making updates VPNs for remote employees to address vulnerabilities. Companies were additionally advised to employ multifactor authentication with regard to all VPNs to improve security. VPNs must likewise be configured to begin automatically whenever devices are turned on instead of depending on workers to manually set.

It is likely that the COVID-19 outbreak will last for a few months. In this time period, numerous software and operating systems will need updating. Scanning devices and making certain that patches are used becomes much more complex with remote employees. Because it is hard to keep a persistent and routable connection to end-users’ devices when working via a network, the cloud ought to be taken into consideration for dealing with cybersecurity rather than in-house corporate cybersecurity strategies.

Ensure to implement multifactor authentication for all applications used by remote employees. More phishing attacks aimed towards remote workers suggests it is very likely for account credentials to be compromised. With multifactor authentication. stolen account credentials could not be utilized for accessing company resources.

It is essential for people working from home to have efficient security solutions on their devices. IT teams must be sure to deploy email security, web security, and anti-virus software on worker-owned devices that are permitted to link to the network.

Use a zero-trust protocol on the network for remote employees and enforce the rule of least privilege. Make sure that remote workers only get access to the resources they require to do their work responsibilities and limit privileges as much as is possible. In case credentials are compromised, this will restrict the damage that could result.

There is a greater risk of device thievery whenever employees work from home. To avoid data loss and impermissible disclosures, make sure to encrypt all data on portable devices. On Windows 10 devices, this is uncomplicated to execute by activating BitLocker. Make sure to encrypt all web and FTP information in transit. Firewalls must also be enabled on the devices of remote workers.

IT departments are currently seeing big numbers of new devices remotely linking to their networks, a few of which have not connected to the network in the past. That makes it harder to determine attackers and less difficult for them to conceal their associations from the security team. Therefore, monitoring should be stepped up to determine malicious and suspicious actions to track down cyberattacks in progress.

Make sure to have adequate licenses for software programs and SaaS applications to manage the growing number of remote workers. Adequate bandwidth should be provided to deal with the growth in remote traffic. Determine how much bandwidth is needed, then double it.

It is essential not to undervalue the value of training. A big proportion of cyberattacks happen due to user error. Refresher training is crucial for all remote workers to remind them concerning the dangers of phishing and spoofing. Because phishing attacks on remote workers are soaring, phishing simulations and training are more vital than ever.

Certain workers may be using laptops to link to work networks initially. It is important for them to get training in using new applications and security programs. Unfamiliarity heightens the potential for errors.

Remote employees must also be told about fundamental IT security procedures that should be used when working from home. Remote workers should also be reminded regarding the steps for reporting risks and possible compromises, and what must be done if they think they have been victimized by a scam.