Workplaces were already embracing remote work options, and now with the COVID-19 pandemic, this has increased and accelerated. Remote working certainly does have its advantages; however this is a double edged sword where it undoubtedly increases the number of attack surfaces leading to increased risk of breaches and data compromise. Devices used to access emails, systems and data often create security blind spots if not managed correctly.
Below are just a few generic questions to ask yourself, but a deeper dive into this would be required.
- Are your remote workers observing and abiding by the organisations security protocols?
- Are they reporting issues and raising suspected incidents in the same way as they would if they were in the office?
- Do you have visibility over company applications and data your remote users have access to?
- Where access to cloud services may have previously been restricted via enterprise networks and security controls, have these now been opened up where access can occur from any location and from any device?
- What user rights, resource permissions and file system permissions do remote workers have?
- Do you utilise VPN and how secure is this?
- Do you enforce Multi Factor Authentication?
- Do you enforce data encryption, both from a static and transmission perspective?
- Are security & access logs, and RDP sessions being maintained & reviewed regularly?
Home networks do not offer the level of security and scrutiny associated with enterprise networks, with many configured to default security settings. On top of this many organisations have probably had to issue laptops etc quickly to enable employees to work from home effectively. I wonder what percentage of these have been issued without full hardening and the correct configuration.
At 3B Data Security we can conduct a full gap analysis and assist with making sure you have the correct security posture and controls in place to help minimise cyber security incidents. We can implement threat hunting and compromise assessment across your entire estate, including devices used by your remote workers.
The current worldwide situation has introduced many challenges and it seems that remote working has become something a lot of organisations have had to accept and implement at a rapid pace. However, now more than ever, this doesn't mean that security controls should take a back seat!
With a fully remote workforce, many organizations have been forced to make choices between usability and security. Existing VPN infrastructure was not designed to support a fully remote workforce.