Is your organization prepared to work from home due to the Coronavirus? Not just prepared for the change, but structurally prepared? Is your network designed to protect against the risks?
For offices around the state, sending employees home to work remotely as the virus spreads is becoming very real. If your business hasn’t needed work-from-home policies in place before now, it’s time to start building them. Businesses need to ensure their technology & security are ready for the cyber risks the network becomes exposed to when employees work from home.
In recent weeks, precautions have been published by national health authorities in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as the World Health Organization declared the virus a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. The virus—a flu-like illness with a higher R0 score–has recently made its way to the U.S and Europe. This has caused a surge in organizations that are examining the risks involved with allowing employees to work from home.We want you to stay secure, of course, but stay safe too! For virus prevention tips, check out the CDC's guide.
Businesses, schools, and many other organizations are closing down locations in some areas to try and prevent the spread of the virus. But for smaller organizations and those that haven’t incorporated remote working before now, trying to have all employees work from home is a serious security risk.
As CDC professionals work to get a handle on this human virus, FiOX by CentraCom® has the tools to help combat the types of computer viruses that will undoubtedly affect workers during the coming influx of work-from-home.
A great first step is to think about (and protect) the endpoint from which the employee will be working.
Is it a laptop that belongs to your organization? Great! It should already be subject to your organization’s cyber protections, including security software, rules regarding local admin access, web filtering, and application control. If you don’t have those protections in place, this is where you need to start.
For endpoint security, we recommend focusing on implementing three key security solutions: Malware Prevention to stop computer viruses and malware threats, full-disk encryption to protect data in the case of lost or stolen devices, and Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) to monitor for cyberattack activities on the endpoint device.
How will you be providing access? Here are some factors to think about:
Your answers to these questions will dictate what sort of protections you need to put in place and what regulations to implement on the connectivity between your remote users and your internal infrastructure.
Whether your users will be working from company devices or whatever they’ve got at home, you want to ensure that you’re protected against data loss and theft as they access and share files across networks. This could mean implementing secure Remote Desktop solutions for users to work from and allowing users to use a corporate VPN to secure their connection when working from public or home wireless networks. If users’ traffic is as protected as possible, the risk of remote connectivity decreases significantly.
Have a plan for supporting your remote users. Your IT staff will likely need some remote support tools and be familiar with them when the time comes—especially if your work force isn’t used to working remotely. The number of calls to your support desk will increase dramatically, so make sure you’re ready to handle the influx of users struggling with new technologies for the first time.
Have some security gaps to close in preparation for employees working from home this spring? Feel free to chat with one of our experts for help getting your plan in place. If additional IT resources are what you need, we partner with Managed Service Providers (MSPs) across the nation that we can recommend. We’re here to help.
* * * * *
FiOX (Fiber Optix Xchange powered by CentraCom) provides a complete range of telecommunications products. Since 1903, CentraCom has been providing local telephone services. Now CentraCom provides high-capacity fiber optic circuits throughout Utah and parts of Eastern Nevada.