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How to help protect your remote workers from cyber-crime

Posted by Sean Houghton | 09-Oct-2020 12:38:51
The UK Government is once again advising office workers to work from home if they can. This means that a lot of your data is now being stored and transmitted off-site. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber-thieves have been aggressively targeting those working from home, knowing that their IT security is often much looser than that of the corporate office network.

So what are some of the services and solutions should you have in place for your employees?

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A VPN is an essential tool for those undertaking any kind of secure remote working. As well as keeping your online activity private, a VPN service will establish a highly secure, encrypted connection to any Wi-Fi network. This means that any data sent or received over that network is fully protected.

This is critical for any employee who chooses to work in a public space, such as a coffee shop or library. VPNs also offer greater security than a standard password-secured Wi-Fi network, so they should be considered for those working from their own home too.

Advanced Email Security

Emails are a vital part of every business, and you wouldn’t want yours to end up in the wrong hands. There are a few different ways to protect your line of communication. Using advanced email protection solutions such as Mimecast can help protect your organisation and employees against many common email attacks. End-to-end encryption services will make sure that nobody but the specified recipient is able to read the email.

Anti-phishing software is another very important service, as it protects your employees from cybercriminals posing as trusted colleagues or business partners. These attacks often end in sensitive data being shared or malware being installed on the employee’s computer, resulting in further data breaches.

MFA – Multi Factor Authentication & Identity Management

Cyber-criminals often attempt to use weak or stolen passwords to gain access to web applications. Ensuring MFA is enabled on your corporate applications will add a layer of defence and mitigate a high number of potential breaches.

Cyber Security Awareness Training

It is now commonly understood that many of the successful network breaches are caused by a user error. Every employer and employee can benefit from more training in cybersecurity. This training can help your employees spot potential phishing scams, recognise if they have malware on their computer, and brief them on how to report any possible security threats.

It’s also a good idea to use these sessions to remind employees of your company’s specific IT security policies, and any applicable data privacy regulations (GDPR, for example). This helps your workers to create a secure remote working environment that is on par with being in the office.

Endpoint Detection & Response

​Unfortunately, traditional antivirus software is not enough to protect your organisation on its own anymore. A traditional antivirus will periodically scan your computer, recognising malicious files based on a ‘signature’ the specific threat carries, but as we have seen in the past, there are many types of Malware that are hard to detect with traditional methods.
For example, file-less malware that operates in your computer’s memory is hidden from
malware signature scanners. Due to the rapid evolution of technology, we are constantly adding to our endpoints, whether it’s desktops, smartphones or even Internet of Things (IoT) - there are countless ways for cybercriminals to gain access to our data.

By pairing your antivirus with Endpoint Detection & Response, any type of unusual activity is flagged. EDR monitors your endpoints and keeps a log of ‘normal activity’, so when anything abnormal is detected, your security team is notified and they can investigate further. This way any type of malware, whether it’s hidden from malware signature scanners or easily detected, will be investigated, isolated, and removed, so your business can continue as usual.
Endpoint visibility is critical to every organisation as antivirus software can only protect you so far against cybercrime. It provides you with real-time visibility, rather than a periodic scan that may miss malicious activity.

Secure DNS with Cisco Umbrella

Cisco have said, "the Domain Name Service (DNS) is often referred to as the 'phone book' of the Internet. Every computer connected to the Internet identifies itself with an “Internet Protocol” or “IP” address, which is a series of numbers. All servers that host websites and apps have IP addresses, too."

Secure DNS and Content Security solutions provide your first line of defence against threats on the internet, delivering complete visibility into internet activity across all locations, devices and users - blocking threats before they've reached your network and endpoints.

Secure DNS helps keep your data protected while your users are online. It protects and blocks malware, phishing, spoofing, malicious sites and more – helping to keep your data safe.

You need to be able to let your users work online safely wherever they are, without putting your data at risk. As cybercrime attacks become more advanced with data breaches occurring through email and web sources, your security protection needs to evolve as well.

We’re Here for You

AZTech IT is a Managed Service Provider (MSP) and Managed Security Provider (MSSP) specialising in helping small and medium sized businesses keep their IT systems secure. We offer a free IT Security Assessment, analysing your current security tools and advising you of any gaps that need to be plugged.

Your Free Security Assessment will cover areas including:

  • Firewall Security
  • Email Security
  • User Awareness
  • Policies and Documentation

You can find out more about our Free IT Security Assessment on our website or contact our enquiries team on 0330 0949 420 to have a chat about your security and how we could help.

Discuss your Free Security Assessment

Topics: remote working, cybercrime, work from home

Written by Sean Houghton

Commercial & Operations Director at Aztech

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