4 Remote Working Considerations
With the current pandemic situation, we all need to be taking remote working considerations. While adjusting the work paradigm, it is vital to keep a mind’s eye on the security and safety of the businesses information assets. What business leaders should be considering while they complete rapid deployment of remote working?
There are four things to take into account. Remote working is often perceived as a security risk but done well; it is an enabler to a better business world.
Sensitive Data And Privacy
When enabling employees to work remotely, CISOs, IT Managers and business owners need to consider business exposure. You need to control the exposure of sensitive information flowing to the remote end user’s location. Staff perform many tasks and transactions, that data should never leave the traditional corporate perimeter.
For these situations, consider how to protect the data and the transaction itself. As a simple example, are you allowing data into a local spreadsheet via a VPN? Are users working on a sensitive spreadsheet in a browser via Office 365? May users be remotely accessing a desktop directly via a thin client in a browser? The last example here is the most secure since the data is only visibly available. It is never made locally available. While a low risk for web apps, other applications operating over a VPN can expose data outside of the authorised network. We need to consider how to enable remote employees and what datasets they are working.
In some businesses, employees have been instructed to work from home but not provided the proper tools. The reasons for this are varied. They include cost, lack of authority by geographic region or a lack of process.
Employees and even local IT staff are left to download remote access software of their choosing. They lack the monitoring, authentication and security alignment necessary to protect against an incident. If employees pick their tools, IT faces multiple remote access solutions and a growing mountain of IT problems that can be unmanageable.
Remote access is needed. What you need is a single scalable and secure tool suitable for the business. Many vendors are offering many months free to manage this crisis. If their solution works and meets the businesses requirement, it might be the right solution. After all, are all your employees going to return to the office once the pandemic has ceased?
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Many businesses do not have enough assets to support remote employees. The ideal resolution for the company is for employees to use their own devices. Accessing systems with corporate-issued VPN or secure-remote-access technology. For many, this seems an unacceptable risk. With no traditional security controls like antivirus or vulnerability assessment on these devices, there is no way to mitigate the threats when they are connected and unmanaged. If other family members use these devices, the risk of malware infection increases exceptionally, especially when connecting to potentially sensitive data.
If BYOD is your only option, ensure your remote access solution does not do any protocol tunnelling and renders all remote sessions in a browser. Minimises the exposure of the corporate network further protects business assets.
Privileged Remote Access
Some employees are working work from home use privileged access. When they establish a remote session, the credentials they need to access and operate a resource are either administrative, root or a power user. Entering these credentials exposes them to the local computer, and any malware can sniff them out. Consider a remote access solution that permits credentials from a password safe or password vault. No credentials, especially the privileged passwords, should leave the organisation. Using a remote password safe or vault ensures this. It all helps to achieve that overall wrapper of safety and security.