Summary: If you or your employees work from home, make sure you have adequate security. It may have been set up quickly in response to COVID. Be sure you have the needed policies, procedures, and safeguards in place to protect your data.
Make sure remote work is safe by doing the following: Isolate the home PC from the home network; Have a separate user account and profile for work; Monitor and manage the home PC; Identify and protect locally stored data; Have a remote worker policy.
Hackers look for the least protected part of your computer network to try to gain entry. Remote workers may be your weak point. Let’s find out:
Do you know who is connecting remotely to your business and how?
Do you have a policy and procedures for managing remote workers and vendors?
Do you have a method to measure how it’s working – can you verify that procedures are followed?
If you need to comply with regulations such as the PCI credit card security standard, the law may require you to secure your remote users adequately. Cyber-security insurance policies also require that you protect your network in specific ways to retain coverage.
Know what you want. Develop a computer use policy and create procedures for what connects to your network and how work is done to assure safety. We have examples you can use. Determine how it will be enforced.
Assign someone to the role of the security officer. This person does not need to know IT, but they are responsible for oversight and enforcement. If no one is responsible, it won’t work.
Determine what the people connecting remotely need. Limit access to only what is required.
Have control of the computers and other devices that have access. This includes the following:
Have a way to detect and monitor remote connections. Generate alerts for unexpected activity. The right network firewall or remote connection software can provide logs and alerts.
Manage remote devices: Treat everything connecting to your data as part of the network, with the same security requirements. Use management and monitoring software to ensure that they are fully protected with antivirus software, that all software is kept up to date, and that it is isolated from the home network.
Make sure devices are not shared by family members or used for non-work purposes. If this isn’t possible, set up a separate user account and profile used only for work. Limit what software is allowed to be installed and where it comes from.
Isolate remote computers from the local network or home network they use for internet access. Use a firewall, VPN, or VLAN. Be especially careful of connecting to home wireless networks – they are often not well secured. Many home devices, such as ring doorbells, smart TVs, etc., have known security flaws that can compromise the remote computer.
Make sure that only authorized users can get to your data. Set up Two-Factor Authentication for remote connections. Make sure remote devices are secured with a strong password and a biometric or hardware key when possible.
If cloud storage or software is accessed directly from home or while traveling, ensure that the login method is secure. Do not allow automatic logins from remote devices. Local login passwords on computers can easily be cracked if the hacker has physical access (such as by theft).
Determine what data may be stored locally on remote devices and how it will be protected. Encrypt the data storage on devices that are not in a secure location. Restrict the use of local USB drives and home backups. Don’t sync personal phones or tablets to work computers.
Dropbox and OneDrive cache copies of data locally. Word and other software programs often create a local copy of documents while editing. Scanning or printing can create local data, even when using a remote session.
Train remote workers on the unique risks that come with being part of a home network.
We are here to help if you want to ensure you and your employees are working securely.