Protecting employees as they work from home is a significant challenge for IT teams. As organizations move to home offices following government advice in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, that the increase in home working are putting companies at higher risk of cyber-attacks.
Home security networks are often less secure than internal company networks, and employees working at home in isolation puts them at greater risk of falling for phishing scams or business email compromise attacks.
We have already seen a rise in CEO impersonation attacks, in which cyber-criminals impersonate high-level employees like the company CEO, in order to request payments. When users are at home, with no one to double check emails are legitimate, the risk of compromise is high.
There ha also been a rise in Covid-19 specific scams, in which attackers are impersonating government agencies and the World Health Organization, which take users to malicious web pages, spreading malware and ransomware. While disappointing considering the global crisis we are facing, it’s not suprising that these threats are starting to emerge.
In addition, many people working from home are using their own devices. ‘Bring your own device’ (BYOD) has skyrocketed in popularity. Almost 60% of businesses allow people to use their personal devices for work. This adds another level of security problems and makes it difficult to ensure people are following company policies.
How can employees work from home securely?
There are a range of security platforms available that can help your employees work from home securely.
Email threats are the number one cause of security breaches for organizations. For remote workers, email security risks are espeically challenging. Many employees will rely on email communications to send each other sensitive documents and links when working from home. The risk of impersonation and phishing attacks being successful therefore is much higher.
There are a range of email security solutions that protect employees working from home. Emails come from the internet and are then scanned by the Email Gateway. If deemed safe, the email then passes through the Office 365 servers, into the inbox of users. It doesn’t matter if the recipient accesses this at home, or in the office, they are still protected.
Email security vendor IRONSCALES is allowing all users to access their email security platform for free for 60 days during the Coronavirus crisis. If you are struggling with email security threats, but cannot afford an expensive cybersecurity solution, this is a great option.
IRONSCALES is a market leading email security solution that uses machine learning to automatically remove malicious phishing emails and URLS. It’s installed in just a few minutes, with no MX record changes required.
The 60 day offer is completely free with no strings attached. If you’re interested, get in touch, and we can help set you up with an account.
Business Password Manager
This is important for all employees to have, but doubly so for those working from home. These platforms manage difficult to guess passwords for you. This ensures that all accounts are safe. It stops employees using the same, or easily guessable passwords, for multiple accounts.
This is important for people working remotely because it ensures that they follow the company password policy. Many good Password Managers also allow administrators to set policies which mean passwords have to be a certain length and updated after a certain amount of time.
These platforms also offer easy ways to share passwords to accounts, which is great if you need to collaborate on projects with your team when working remotely.
We’ve put together an easy to digest guide on the best Business Password Managers which you can read here.
Security Awareness Training
Security Awareness Training platforms test your skills at spotting malicious emails. They send out false phishing attempts, to see where people need more security training and awareness. They then provide training for the people who need it, so that they can be better protected against real threats.
It’s really important that people working from home are security aware. They can’t ask people in the office for a second opinion, so they need to be able to tell if an email is fake or genuine. People working from home will likely rely on email to communicate with colleagues. A smart hacker could see this as an opportunity to impersonate a colleague, gaining sensitive information. The training materials provided by a good Security Awareness platform can really improve the security of your organisation and are a key way to combat these threats
You can find reviews of all the top Security Awareness Training platforms here.
If you work with a lot of people working from home, chances are you’ll be sending a lot of emails. These will likely contain sensitive company information, which needs to be protected. Email Encryption platforms are a great way of doing this.
Sending internal emails where both the sender and receiver use the same encryption service is really easy to do. Both parties will need to verify their identity before getting access, but the email is readable within Outlook. This means that even in the event of a remote workers device being stolen or lost, email communications and attached documents stay safe. These platforms also give admins visibility into where remote workers are sending encrypted emails. This reduces the risk of employees sharing restricted content without permission.
Read our reviews of the top Email Encryption services here.
DNS Web Protection
DNS Web Protection platforms are cloud-based services which provide content filtering and anti-virus protection.
Based in the cloud, these products are crucial to protecting remote workers. They are easy to install on a work laptop and provide protection on any network. This is ideal for working from home.
DNS Web Protection services offer reporting capabilities. This allows you to ensure that everyone is browsing the web safely and in line with company policy during work hours.
Some platforms offer policies which filter web behavior during work hours, but not afterwards. This allows users to use work devices for personal tasks, such as shopping or streaming media, while still offering protection.
You can read reviews of the top DNS Web Protection services here.
Using these five products can really help to increase your organisation’s security for employees working from home. If you represent a small business, many vendors may offer an Essentials package, which bundles some of these platforms together.