The Cybersecurity Risks for your Dynamic and Remote Workforce

The days of securing a well-defined perimeter around your organization are gone. The rise of remote workers, global health pandemics such as Coronavirus and natural disasters such as the Australian bushfires seen early this year, businesses in our country are permitting more and more workforces to work remotely. The expansion of cloud, mobile technologies and the internet of things (IoT) means that data is freely exchanged across digital ecosystems, networks and economies, thus allowing people to work remotely.

Since the Coronavirus and Australian Bushfires, major parts of Australia have been struggling to conduct business as normal. As the virus spreads, there’s a risk that the economies of the western world will be impacted. The drop in the Australian Stock Exchange and global markets last week was just the latest indication that we need to continue business as usual in the face of adversity. International companies and large technology companies that are already offering remote working options will see little to no disruption to their businesses. As the virus continues to spread, even smaller and medium-sized companies realize the importance of offering remote working options to their employees.

This fluidity, however, means that organizations must secure access at multiple points throughout the organization, or risk letting in intruders seeking to hijack data. To manage the increasingly diverse digital landscape of remote workers, mobile user populations, hybrid environments and BYOD programs, IT and security managers need to move beyond usernames and passwords, expanding their cybersecurity program to help provide secure and convenient access to the critical data and systems users need across vast geographical plains.

HOW TO SECURE YOUR DYNAMIC WORKFORCE

To help deliver and manage access to any app on any device, organizations are turning to digital workspaces like VMware Workspace One. Australian businesses will need to add an artillery to the front door of these digital workspaces to provide strong security as users access the mobile applications, cloud environments and virtual infrastructure they need to stay connected and productive.

  1. INVEST IN A VPN (VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK) OR VNC (VIRTUAL NETWORK COMPUTING)

A VPN gives users remote access to the company network, while encrypting data traffic and disguising the IP address. An alternative solution is a that VNC gives remote access to desktops without connecting to the network, offering greater security as restrictions can be placed on activities including file transfers.

  1. SET-UP WI-FI HOTSPOTS

To deter, or stop, the use of public Wi-Fi networks, companies can create Wi-Fi hotspots, which connect to a separate router or server, regulate access and can be login/password-protected. This means that your staff members who may be working from the local café are now protected from intrusive hacks that come from public wifi.

  1. INVEST IN AN INTEGRATED RISK MANAGEMENT PLATFORM

With so many components making up the cybersecurity application and infrastructure platform of an organisation, and multiple vulnerability points across the dynamic workforce, it is crucial to have full visibility over business continuity. A central source for all of your cybersecurity data-points make for quick decision making and ease-of-reporting to senior management or stakeholders.

  1. ENABLE MULTIFACTOR AUTHENTICATION

Considered a solution to password attacks or identity theft, multi-factor authentication confirms the validity of the user trying to access the system or account. Once the user inputs their log-in information (username and password), they are sent a variety of codes or access tokens that are specific to the user and analysed for behaviour. This allows the user and enterprise to have visibility over system access, and powers to shut down access if needed.

In a remote work situation, this extra layer of security proves useful, particularly when using applications including Slack, Microsoft O365 and Dropbox.

  1. KEEP SYSTEMS UPDATED

Running basic system maintenance including data backups, software/hardware upgrades and user-access adjustments will reduce the risk of cyber-attack via the dynamic workforce. A well maintained system will allow network monitoring software will track employee activity and external vulnerabilities to allow for quick remediation before attack.

  1. AMPLIFY YOUR CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS TRAINING

A vast number of cybersecurity IT professionals believe employee security training tools are the most effective solution to prevent security incidents. Give that employees, including remote workers, are generally the opening-door of a cybersecurity attack, it is crucial to keep them aware of hacks or phishing scams that may be targeted at them.

In order to secure remote devices and data, companies need to adopt a holistic approach that address people, processes, and technology. Because people—who are often susceptible to phishing scams—are often the weakest link, end-user security training is perhaps one of the most important areas for organizations to focus on when implementing a remote workforce policy.

To learn more about our remote working solutions, please contact us:

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Loop Secure has partnered with RSA to deliver cybersecurity offerings to meet today’s modern authentication needs. Advanced analytics, a world-class cybersecurity operations centre and machine learning technologies allow us to provide the most convenient and secure user access possible. We make it easy for customers to extend traditional methods, with world-class solutions delivered across Australia to improve overall security posture.