Remote work has come to stay, so it remains a topical issue when it comes to cyber security. Small and midsize businesses are more mobile than ever. When one of your users leaves the safety of your perimeter you lose a significant amount of visibility and control over their security. The problem becomes worse when they connect from locations with limited protections, open Wi-Fi networks, shoulder surfers, and ever-present distraction.
Protecting employees requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the following security challenges:
- Malware and Ransomware: Most businesses rely on traditional antivirus software to block malware on managed endpoints, but these solutions can only catch known threats, and are relatively powerless to stop advanced, zero day threats. Without the benefit of your core netwrk protections, a user on the go could become infected without your knowledge, and even introduce the infection to your broader environment when they reconnect with your network.
- Phishing/Spear-Phishing: Criminals use email to try to get users to click links, download files, and enter credentials into web pages or forms. These emails are commonly tailored to a specific business or individual who is considered most vulnerable. With the abundance of personal data available to a hacker, determining who is off-network, and when, isn’t difficult, placing off-network employees firmly in their crosshairs.
- Lost/Stolen Devices: Losing a device can be one of the biggest threats to your business. A stolen device that is logged in can provide complete access to the thief, not only to the machine, but many of the user accounts where credentials may be stored. In addition, the data on the device itself may be sensitive, personal, or contain company intellectual property.
- VPN Avoidance: Let’s face it, employees don’t always follow the security polices we put in place. A VPN can provide a tremendous amount of protection, but if it is overly cumbersome for the user, it will be avoided to the detriment of your security when you rely on VPN alone. A user who simply wants to check their personal email or social media accounts could quickly run in to trouble.