The need for work from home employees and staffing has increased dramatically, but so have cyber security threats. Is your business safe?
Many businesses in the Fort Collins area these days have some form of remote access to allow for remote workers or for occasional work from home scenarios. But did you know that remote access is a primary attack vector for hackers? Here are some ways you can keep your remote workers and work from home employees secure.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Virtual Private Networks or VPNs have been around for a long time. They’re a great way to connect business facilities or allow staff to connect remotely. But depending on how your VPN is implemented, your business could be wide open to attack. To keep your network secure, your VPN should only allow access to the services your branches and employees need. This can be done several ways, such as using a Managed Firewall or an isolated and dedicated guest or remote employee network. It’s also best to use a dedicated business-class VPN/Firewall appliance such as an Untangle, Cisco, or other device.
Use Secure Remote Access Software/Services
Another common remote access tool is Remote Desktop. This allows individual employees to connect remotely to a dedicated server with the tools they need to do their work, or even their own workstation at the office. Again, unless properly configured, Remote Desktop solutions tend to attract would-be hackers and automated attacks.
To keep your business network and work from home employees safe, enforce strong passwords and use Remote Desktop software with two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication. This helps protect your business from brute-force attacks and compromised employee credentials. It’s also best practice to allow access to only what’s absolutely necessary from any access point such as a Remote Desktop server or employee workstation.
Use a Managed Email Service with SPAM and Phishing Protection
For both work from home employees and on-site staff, most businesses rely on email. We recommend Managed Office 365 services, but whether you’re using Office 365, Google’s G Suite, or some other email and business collaboration service, SPAM and Phishing protection are a must. Although many hosted email services have some form of SPAM filtering, don’t rely on the email product by itself. There are many Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that offer a secure email package that includes enhanced and fully integrated protective services.
Have a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan
Even if you do have these preventative measures in place, it’s unfortunately still possible to experience a cyber security breach. In these cases, it’s always a good idea to have plans to keep your business running during outages and recover from disasters such as ransomware or cyber-attack. A critical part of this is a good Managed Backups and Recovery service to protect proprietary business data.
Talk to Your IT Provider
Not sure if your remote workers and work from home employees are opening your business to a cyber-attack? Talk to your IT Provider if you have one. They should have a documented plan for keeping your remote workers and work from home employees safe and secure. If you’re in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley and surrounding area and don’t have an IT Provider or are looking for more robust support and coverage, contact us for a free consultation.