Interview with Sean Vitale, IT Specialist
What are some common situations you’ve seen for security issues with remote workforces?
A lot of employees are more comfortable at home and therefore aren’t near co-workers who can quickly review a potential malicious e-mail. Working from home creates an environment where employees are more susceptible to clicking links from malicious emails. It’s also easier for employees at home to get distracted and ignore abnormalities with their computers and not notify their IT helpdesk. Doing so means a virus has more time to spread throughout the environment causing more damage.
What sort of technology security measures can help mitigate the risks associated with employees working remotely?
- An advanced spam solution.
- User awareness training for potential email threats.
- Enforce complex passwords (more characters the better) and routine password changes.
- Dark web scanning to identify information that is stolen and sold online.
- A company provided laptop that can be managed with security policies to encrypt the machine and apply passwords.
- Advanced antivirus software that identifies malicious activity based on behavior instead of definitions.
- Multi-factor authentication for all cloud solutions.
- A reliable backup solution with Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to restore data in the event of a breach
Are there special concerns for companies to keep in mind if their employees are using personal devices to work from home?
Encourage employees to never save data locally. Encourage employees to run updates on their machines on a routine basis so that security patches are up-to-date. Ensure home wireless networks are using up-to-date security protocols (Not WEP). Provide an additional license for antivirus software to install on employees’ personal devices.
How can companies ensure that their employees’ devices are up-to-date with all software?
Give employees a company provided machine, managed by IT, that can push updates to the computers on a routine basis.
Initially, many companies viewed remote work as a short-term adaptation to stay-at-home orders. As companies plan for the possibility of a long-term increase in remote work as some degree of social distancing continues, are there solutions or investments they should be considering to improve efficiency and security?
All of the security technology mentioned in #2 on company provided computers. Consider providing access to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution so that applications and data remain under IT’s control.