Ever since the work from home wave was settled in due to the pandemic, companies are increasingly worried about infrastructure and cybersecurity. The shift to working from home was so sudden that companies had very little time to ensure that employees get trained or equipped to comply with the security policies. To add to the woes, employees face the prospect of being able to receive little support from distributed IT teams during the shift to remote working. The result? Employees faced several challenges ranging from phishing attacks from external sources to unchecked home routers, and vulnerabilities of cloud-based and other tools.
In fact, according to Proofpoint, phishing has increased ever since the pandemic began, making enterprise products vulnerable to security threats. Over 70% of emails had malware, and 30% aimed to steal the victim’s credentials.
Companies have come to realize that security can no longer be limited to the enterprise tools they use within the office walls. It has to be extended outside the boundaries of offices. That’s why over 90% of enterprises have planned to invest more in securing telework over the next two years.
While the ramping up of security will take time, companies can begin to address the security challenges in some significant ways right away.
5 Things Companies Must Do To Improve The Security Of Enterprise Products
Use Secure VPN:
Although VPN encrypts internet traffic and makes it unreadable to hackers and internet service providers, some of them can be susceptible to bugs. This could compromise the entire network and open the doors for hackers. According to CISA, using VPNs for telework exposes it to vulnerabilities and cyber-attacks. Use a trusted VPN service provider. To safeguard the VPN access, ask the users to limit usage to only business purposes. Ensure that the VPN servers are up to date and use two-factor authentication to secure the VPN. Create awareness about appropriate and updated password policies, so employees know how to safeguard the VPN from their end.
Use Secure and Approved Cloud Services:
Very few technologies have seen adoption as quickly as cloud computing. Cloud-based services offer companies the benefit of minimizing investment on infrastructure and legacy systems and maximize their productivity and efficiency. Ever since employees have shifted to work from home, cloud-based services have been lauded for offering them convenience and easy access. However, like all technologies, the cloud is also vulnerable to cyber threats. The onus lies on the IT security team that they verify the third-party cloud storage and other services carefully to safeguard the assets of the company. Employees must only use services that are verified and approved by the IT team. Of course, they must also be discouraged to use public Wi-Fi and instead use secured access methods like VPN to protect the data on the cloud.
Update Installed Software Regularly:
Employees often click on cancel or a maybe later option when they receive notifications to update the installed software. They do it to avoid wasting time until the software is updated or because they are unaware of its importance. That’s where the IT teams have to intervene. They have to ensure that the employees update their software frequently to protect against any kind of security hazards for the company. Insignificant as it might seem, software updates are critical because they patch the security holes in the software and protect it from hackers and malware. The update removes all the outdated features and improves the stability of the software. Companies must ensure that the employees understand the significance of software updates and follow the precise protocols prescribed by the IT teams.
Secure the Router:
Home routers are often vulnerable to malicious activities and cyber-attack. Hackers can get access to the user’s login credentials through the routers and can compromise the entire network and all the links of the chain after that. Employees must be made aware of that so they can protect their home network. The first step is to encourage employees to manage their passwords better. Employees should also be asked to set the highest available level of encryption to restrict inbound and outbound traffic. For example, employees can be asked to set WPA3 encryption to protect personal, enterprise, and IoT devices. The IT team must make securing the home routers the priority and extend guidance to help employees with it.
Use Encrypted Tools for Communication:
Sometimes important and sensitive data may have to be exchanged between the team members and clients via messenger apps, collaboration tools, and emails. Companies must ensure that these communications are secured by end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption makes the information unreadable to any third party; that is when two or more devices communicate, the information is exchanged in the form of a secret code. So, nobody can read it other than the people involved in the communication. Encrypted communication safeguards the data from tampering. Make it mandatory for all employees to use only encrypted communication channels to exchange sensitive data.
These are a few methods that companies can implement to improve cybersecurity. As companies contemplate making work from home a permanent option for a large number of its employees, they have to build a culture of conscious employees who understand and follow the cybersecurity guidelines laid down by the IT team. Some ways to create that mindset include:
- Establishing easy-to-follow best practices to make cybersecurity a priority.
- Conduct regular training sessions or eLearning sessions to drive the importance of security.
- Create constant awareness through emails and other media.
- Offer accessible remote support and train employees to troubleshoot problems on their own.
It’s important to ensure that all the employees follow these guidelines stringently. This will also assure your customers that their data is safe and will give the required protection to your operations too.