People have been predicting the rise of remote work for years now, but the global pandemic has finally made these predictions a reality. With the massive increase in remote workers, many companies are suddenly scrambling to adjust their security policies. The typical home network simply doesn’t have the same level of security as a corporate network. Worse than that, employees are typically more casual about network security issues in the familiarity of their own home than they would be in the office.
These changes represent a massive opportunity for criminal hackers seeking to compromise your company’s network security. By exploiting the security weakness of your remote workforce, hackers can successfully stage ransomware attacks, steal your sensitive information, or introduce malware into your corporate network.
At Intercontinental Communications, we’ve been dealing with hackers since the payphone era. We’ve always emphasized the need for modern solutions adapted to the latest technological developments. Remote work is no exception – if you need to do it, it only makes sense to do it right. The home network of every remote worker in your company needs to adhere to the same network security standards you’d expect at the office.
So, what can you do to reduce the risk, improve network security, and protect your remote workers from cybercriminals? Here are a few tips:
- Have your remote workers use complex router passwords to protect their home network. Many people use simple, easy-to-remember router passwords at home. Unfortunately, easy-to-remember means easy-to-hack. Router passwords should be at least 12 characters for good network security, with a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters in a random sequence.
- Make sure your remote workers are using strong encryption on their Wi-Fi. This means using Wi-Fi Protected Access 2, also known as WPA2, for Wi-Fi encryption. If possible, have your remote workers use WPA2 AES, a version of WPA2 that uses an unbreakable cipher to encrypt the traffic on your home network.
- Use a remote gateway. There are a number of different remote gateway appliances of different types, but the basic idea is to give your IT staff a way to monitor every home network being used as a remote work connection and respond immediately to any attempted breach.
- Use a VPN. A Virtual Private Network – whether hardware or software – creates a secure, encrypted connection between your remote worker’s home network and your corporate network.
- Use EMM. Enterprise Mobility Management software will actually scan your remote endpoints (such as a remote worker’s personal laptop) and determine whether they meet your security standards before allowing them to connect to your network.
- Use the right security tools. Your remote workers should not be relying on consumer antivirus software, which doesn’t provide the level of security you need. Have them install enterprise-quality antivirus and malware prevention software.
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