12 simple tips for IT security in remote working

Secure Remote Office

Nowadays, a lot of people say that the situation within the last six months is theBlack Swan, i.e. the event that most people could not predict, and therefore could not prepare for it. As a result, this event impacts devastatingly on ordinary life. Sure, it's about the COVID-19 pandemic, which swept the world and drastically changed the life of 7.8 billion.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the governments of many countries have demanded at the legislative level that people stay at home and not go out unless absolutely necessary. Business adequately reacted to these measures because it is about people's health and lives. But time goes on, companies suffer losses due to downtimes, and many of them can crash at all. Meanwhile, you can organize the work of your office remotely, just addressing the help of infrastructure service providers. You can move all the necessary applications and systems used by your company employees from the on-premise server and upload all to the cloud. But if you prefer dedicated servers, you can use them. In both cases, the provider will help you quickly and easily deploy a virtual working environment where all your corporate applications and programs will be installed, and your employees will be able to work from home, connecting to the remote office via a secure VPN tunnel. Downtime? No way!

We described the remote office arrangement variants in the article How to arrange a remote office quickly and safely. Do not make your business idle when there are ways to continue its work!

So, you've made your choice of infrastructure solution, and order a remote office arrangement from the provider. However, no matter what you choose, a dedicated server or a cloud, but reliable remote work needs to comply with several information security rules. We offer you to learn 12 simple tips to make your remote work safe. Compliance with these rules will protect corporate systems and data from cyberattacks not only during the quarantine but also in regular times when you connect to the corporate network to solve business issues, being on a business trip, traveling, or vacation.

  1. Remember that during quarantine isolation, your employees can be connected to insecure WiFi networks. Tell them how to protect their home network. For safe work in public networks, it is crucial to set drive encryption to prevent information leaks.

  2. All of the remote work with the data of your company should be operated at the terminal server. It will protect sensitive business information in the case of an incident with any employee’s PC or laptop (loss, theft, etc.). For the same reason, no corporate files, data, or business applications should be launched on the employee’s personal device.

  3. Each employee’s laptop or PC must have strong passwords. It is one of the basic security rules that works not only under quarantine but also during regular times, especially if the employee is on business trips or works from home.

  4. All accounts on employee devices must require unique login credentials.

  5. A mandatory requirement for all of the company's employees is to log out from the corporate system when it is not in use. Even they work remotely from home.

  6. Moving away from your PC or laptop, you always need to lock the computer. Key combinations of Win + L, or Ctrl + Alt + Del, or Ctl-Cmd-Q (for Mac devices), we always press, even if there is nobody in the apartment except a cactus on the windowsill. Do it mandatory, primarily if you work from a cafe or a hotel lobby.

  7. The arrangement of safe remote working involves the necessary use of a VPN channel to connect remote workers to corporate networks and servers. A virtual private network provides a direct connection as if the remote device was connected to the organization’s local network. Encrypted communication cannot be monitored by the user's home Internet service provider and can prevent a man-in-the-middle attack. It ensures the cybersecurity of working from home.

  8. Two-factor or multi-factor user authentication during log-in to the company’s corporate network from remote devices protects your business infrastructure very effectively. BTW, in SIM-Networks, all remote employees use MFAs.

  9. Remind your employees that working remotely, they should provide any activity not related to the company on their personal devices. So, post personal blogs or social networks only outside the corporate system — is a good manner and safe.

  10. For financial transactions, implement additional authentication of the identity of employees who are authorized to manage transfers. For example, duplicate instructions by email and via video conferences via Skype, Zoom, or using other special software.

  11. Remind your staff of the underlying information security rules. We told about them in the article Corporate cybersecurity: How to defend information values.

  12. Remember that cyber attacks on corporate email often use phishing. Phishing campaigns are a threat to all corporate employees, regardless of whether they work from the office or remotely. But, taking to account a quarantine, the employees who are not used to working at home alone are especially vulnerable. In essence, now they receive a lot of emails, which often come across spam speculating on the topic of coronavirus. For this kind of cybersecurity risk reduction, it is necessary to reconfigure filters on the company's mail server to filter out malicious and spam emails.

  13. Two other vital rules concern email security. First, before clicking on the link in the email, hover over it to see the actual URL path. Secondly, always reject macros inclusion requests when opening email attachments. Remember it and remind the company employees.

We hope our recommendations will help your corporate infrastructure in the cloud or on a dedicated server to continue to work efficiently, even in a remote mode. One day, the quarantine will end, and you will be pleased to note that it did not affect your business.

Contact SIM-Networks right now to minimize possible losses due to downtime of your business through to the quarantine! Our employees are always in touch and will help at any time.

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