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Remote Workers and Security: Staying Safe in Changing Times Blog Feature
Marty Kaufman

By: Marty Kaufman on March 31st, 2020

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Remote Workers and Security: Staying Safe in Changing Times

Technology Planning | Executive Insights | Cyber Security

I don’t even know where to start. If you’d have told me two months ago that we’d be debating over which businesses are “essential” and that millions of Americans would be sent home to work overnight, I would’ve told you you’re crazy.

But here we are.

Some businesses are seeing proactive measures pay off, making the transition with relative ease. But the majority business owners have felt like it’s a wartime situation – just get the people home and productive, so we can stay in business.  If that’s you, I urge you to consider security and make sure you haven’t unintentionally opened a door to cyber threats.

As Employees Work from Home, Hackers Find New Targets

As people disperse, more potential vulnerabilities can emerge. Home networks and personal devices typically aren’t as secure as your corporate network, so you could have WAY more exposure now to cyber risks.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – an agency within the Department of Homeland Security - warns that hackers are targeting home networks, personal computers, and unsecure VPNs because the odds of them getting into a corporate network right now through one of them have increased.

Phishing, Spam Spike as Threat Actors Use COVID-19 Bait on Remote Workers

You’ve probably also noticed an influx of spam and phishing attempts – some are related to COVID-19 and others are the same “invoice reminders” and “shipping notifications” you’ve seen before. Hackers hope to entice one of your employees working from home to click, giving them access to your corporate data.

With this shift to remote work, it’s unlikely that business as we know it will ever be the same.

Related: Get the Guide to Enabling Remote Workers with Technology to make sure that you're following best practices when your employees need to work from home.

COVID-19 Could Sway More Permanent Shift Towards Telework

In our client-base alone, we’ve had 305 requests for remote user setups in the last 10 days, and more are coming in each day. Once the safer-at-home orders are lifted, I suspect it will be hard for employers to get all those users back to the office every day. This will be especially difficult for companies that haven’t typically supported teleworking.

If employees continue to work from home on a more permanent basis, some additional security measures should be taken to make sure your data stays safe.

Consider things like:

  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Issuing company-owned and managed laptops
  • Managed antivirus and antimalware software
  • Security patch management
  • Network security management

We’re in this with you.

We’re still supporting clients remotely and onsite, while physically distancing ourselves as much as possible. If you need any help, know that we’re here for you.

Stay safe,
Marty

 

About Marty Kaufman

Marty Kaufman is Founder and President of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., a Southern California-based innovator in IT thinking. He got his start in the world of Big Data as Manager of Information Systems for General Dynamics. He earned his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1985 and started Accent Computer Solutions as a consulting firm in 1987. He has spent his entire career researching and implementing Information Technology strategies and processes to help his clients reduce the cost and risk of IT.

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