Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Staying Secure As the Remote Workforce is Here to Stay

How to ensure your systems are protected as the hybrid model becomes the norm.

By: Sentia   Categories:Blog, Security, Cyber Security, Data Security, Network and Security, Digital Workforce

Staying Secure As the Remote Workforce is Here to Stay

The world is slowly beginning to reopen, and organizations are making decisions on what the post-pandemic workplace looks like. As many organizations look to bring their staff back into the office, others will opt for hybrid models or stick with full-time remote teams. Currently, millions of employees in Canada work from home full time with no end in sight, and many employees wish to continue working remotely once the pandemic ends.

Peculiarly, the language used by senior management in quarterly earnings calls with investors and analysts placed the remote work discussion central in the public companies' earnings calls in 2021. This discussion was perceptibly limited in the years before 2020, and it is not a stretch to say that modern history will reference the year as a turning point. Many CEOs now view remote work in a favorable light, a sign that it is here to stay. Some companies that have announced they will allow, encourage, or require employees to work from home permanently include Shopify, Twitter, Facebook, Square, Coinbase, Upwork, AWeber, Otis, and Amazon.

Although remote work is convenient and productive, it exposes businesses and employees to various risks, making security everyone's responsibility. Consequently, organizations need to consider remote work security. But, if remote work is such a clever idea for your organizations, workers, and bottom line, then what exactly should you do to ensure your company is prepared for this work revolution? The entire internet could be awash with ideas for best practices, but Sentia has enumerated some of the best advice on staying secure for a post-pandemic remote work strategy.

1.     Establish and Enforce Data Security Policies

Organizations require policy documents outlining the different security protocols and standards for employees to comply with and the consequences for non-compliance. Such policies should also contain details on ways the company supports workers to comply. In addition, security policies should create an overall approach to information security and detect and preempt information security breaches, such as misuse of networks, data, applications, and computer systems.

2.     Use Internet Security Software for Home Networks and Devices

Without a doubt, establishing a work-from-home security policy is just the start, as companies and employees need tools and resources to comply with the requirements. Organizations can improve remote work security by investing in a comprehensive antivirus suite for their workers. Installing reliable internet security software takes the hard work off the employees' and IT departments' hands by offering automatic detection and response against a host of threats, such as zero-day attacks, malware, spyware, trojans, words, phishing scams, and ransomware. In addition, employees should keep the antivirus updated to stay on top of emerging and advanced threats.

3.     Regulate the Use of Personal Devices

Work-from-home strategies make it challenging for companies to prevent the use of personal devices for work-related tasks. In turn, the use of unregulated devices poses certain security risks for remote employees. Given this, organizations might want to restrict employer-provided devices for work.

Additionally, even though companies trust their tech-savvy employees to follow the best practices to stay safe online, it is worth reminding them to avoid exposing company devices to young children, other family members, and friends while working from home. Besides, employees should secure their computers with complex passwords to prevent third parties from accessing sensitive information and applications. 

4.     Use a VPN

Remote work requires users to connect their devices to companies' networks via the public internet, which in turn creates new entry points that hackers could potentially exploit. As a result, companies should provide employees with secure VPNs with the most robust authentication methods. While looking for a VPN vendor, getting a provider with a large server network is essential. A reliable VPN tool offers secure remote management, allowing organizations to check in on information and backup status anytime, anywhere. Organizations can further enhance their security posture by changing their VPN server location, preferably to one closer to their actual location, to prevent VPN overload – a common obstacle to remote work security.

5.     Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Networks

Organizations should guide employees in strengthening their home networks' security by creating strong, unique passwords and enabling strong network encryption such as WPA2. Besides that, employees can limit their Wi-Fi network access to specific MAC addresses for stronger security. Additionally, it is essential to ensure you are running the latest version of router firmware by regularly visiting the manufacturers' site or activating automatic updates.

6.     Employ a Zero-Trust Approach

Enterprises can deploy the zero-trust network security approach that revolves around the principle of "never trust, always verify." Companies can only grant access based on the continual verification of identities, services, users, and devices in this model. For remote work strategies, you can institute a zero-trust model that treats each remote access request as though it originated from an untrusted, uncontrolled network and require authentication. Users and system administrators should move beyond passwords to implement complex, dynamic approaches to security like zero-trust architectures.

7.     Utilize Strong Passwords and Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

Weak passwords pose a major security risk to companies, especially with the remote work revolution. Therefore, organizations must advise employees to use strong and varied passwords that are difficult to crack. Undeniably, using a hard-to-guess password is a strong first move towards wading cybercriminals.

Additionally, employees can utilize multifactor authentication (MFA) to verify their identities. Sentia offers a complete turn-key implementation service that allows your company to have a secure two-factor authentication system up and running in a short timeframe. What's more, you can minimize the need for VPN access with an easy-to-access MFA from Sentia – a strong internet connection and your phone is all you need to initiate a secure MFA connection.

Stay Secure with Sentia

Secure remote work revolution offers the benefits of working from virtually anywhere in the world and enables workers to develop an equitable work/life balance and increase productivity. Better still, your organization will enjoy the cost savings of not having to pay for physical office space and access a much larger talent pool. First, however, organizations need to make security everyone's responsibility and invest in resources, tools, and skills to detect and mitigate potential security threats.

You can optimize your business with flexible, high-value managed security and IT solutions from Sentia. We provide managed services support for each critical area of your business. Whether it's remote monitoring and management, network and cybersecurity, we have you covered. Better yet, we offer highly skilled IT experts with a customer-first attitude. We also give you access to leading technology partners and emerging technologies and trends for your remote work strategy.

Let's talk about how we can help you adapt to the hybrid workforce evolution. View our video message here.



We are a high-value, trusted, Canadian IT solutions provider dedicated to delivering secure and reliable IT solutions across a wide variety of industries. We are committed to helping our customers meet and optimize their business goals.

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