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The world has a record number of people who are now working from home because of the COVID-19 crisis. A scenario like this one wasn’t on anyone’s radar, and employers have had to scramble in a short amount of time to ensure employee safety.

But there’s another type of protection that businesses are concerned about: the security measures that are needed to keep the hackers away and networks intact. Below, we dive into a few ways businesses operating interim or long-term work-from-home operations can approach their security.

 

Connection and Access Concerns

Employees should only use approved network connections that are properly protected. Access sent through a Secure Socket Layer virtual private network (SSL VPN) provides security by sending requested information through a secure tunnel and encrypting the data.

So how do you know when a website safeguards the data? When you see that the ‘HTTP’ in the URL switches to an ‘HTTPS, and when a small padlock appears at the bottom of the page.

To keep your network safe as your remote employees log on, a solid antivirus platform is absolutely necessary. Whichever software you choose, it must be able to detect potential malware and destroy it before any damage occurs.

Additionally, scan and protect your old operating systems with patching. The patches will locate and repair any operating system (OS) vulnerabilities before any malicious worms or users can exploit them. This is especially important for an older OS that is no longer supported.

 

A Matter of Policy: BYOD or Company-Issued Devices?

Businesses need to authorize the types of devices that are acceptable for accessing networks, whether company-issued, employee-owned, or both. Just keep in mind there are pros and cons for each.

Usually, most company-issued devices will have the same level of security as in-office computers, so they carry less risk. But providing new laptops, smartphones, and tablets for your employees can be expensive.

If you allow employees to use their own devices, it’s best to limit their level of access to certain areas of your network that don’t contain sensitive information. Moreover, their access should only go through a VPN to ensure solid protection.

It’s good practice to monitor their remote access, keep track of who is accessing your network, and when and how they are doing so. There are several effective mobile device management (MDM) platforms that help with this.

A solid acceptable use policy (AUP) will help your employees understand how they can safely use their devices for access. It should also determine which applications are acceptable for the dissemination of company data.

Lastly, make sure your employees are aware of phishing scams from cyber criminals in the form of rogue emails, links, or attachments. Some companies intentionally phish their employees for educational purposes, so thinking outside the box can be a good strategy to help keep your networks safe.

 

Networking Technologies Is Here to Help

If you need ideas on how to fortify your remote access protection, we’re here to help. We’re also happy to answer any questions you may have or provide tips on how to make your remote employees more productive and safe.

Contact us to get the conversation started.