February 4, 2021
Businesses need their technology and IT systems to do more than just not break down—they need them to actively enable secure productivity. Already an often difficult task, the process of getting truly reliable IT in place is complicated even more by the need to accommodate for remote work environments.
As COVID-19 pushed more and more businesses remote last year, organizations have had to adapt to remain secure and efficient. Here’s how security has changed during COVID-19 and the remote work migration and some steps and tools for securing your remote workforce.
That rapid switch to remote work left many business networks open to cyber threats. Businesses across industries and specialties came under increased attack as malicious actors capitalized on the unprepared state of the many organizations that were spread thin just trying to stay functional. As just one example, the World Health Organization reported a 500% increase in cyber attacks on their organization by the end of April 2020.
Now, in 2021, remote work isn’t going anywhere; when surveyed, over 80% of business leaders said they planned to keep remote options available for at least some portion of the work week. But businesses have now had more time to adjust their cybersecurity to remote work processes. If you haven’t gotten up to date yet with the tools and processes that will enable your remote workforce to remain secure long-term, there’s no better time than the present.
At Option One, we have helped our customers stay on top of their security and technology needs throughout the pandemic, and we continue to help organizations prepare for the future of a more dispersed work environment in the long term. Here are some of the security tools we equip our customers with and recommend for any business working remotely.
Cloud technology has been called the backbone of remote work, and cloud solutions are quickly becoming a non-negotiable asset for businesses. They enable remote communication, free up server space, and allow for increased storage and easy scaling.
In terms of security, cloud servers keep data secure in public, private, or hybrid cloud environments through a shared responsibility model, meaning that the cloud provider ensures the security of the cloud while enabling you to add security within the cloud environment.
Trusted cloud providers often include features such as event logging, intrusion detection, firewalls, encryption, and redundancies to protect your data. At Option One, we help our clients set up secure cloud computing with tried and trusted providers such as Google, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon.
Our model allows you to access your data through the cloud from any location, and one of its biggest advantages is that it enables business continuity by providing you with redundant, remote copies of your information. That means that even if a disaster hits your physical location or your own servers are compromised, you still have a managed backup to fall back on for access to your data.
A virtual desktop infrastructure can give employees secure access to on-prem and cloud resources from any location with access to the internet.
An option that functions a step above the capabilities of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), a VDI functions through a virtual machine hosted in a data center or by a cloud provider to let you and your staff remotely operate as if on desktop machines.
This allows you to replace your traditional, physical workstation with a more secure, zero client device that’s as small as an internet router. You can then use this to connect to your virtual machine on the cloud.
A VDI can boost your security by connecting employees directly to a centralized infrastructure. It elevates your security from the device level to a corporate level you can completely control. In storing all of your organization’s data in the remote VDI memory, you can remove endpoint security risks presented by data saved on individual devices.
Securing your network is perhaps the most important step to take when it comes to remote security. Whether it’s on the cloud or on-prem, we can find a solution that best suits your infrastructure.
We recommend using a hybrid solution using a combination of defenses to strengthen your security stack:
Next-gen network detection and response technologies combine constant monitoring, firewalls, and the best AI to give you a comprehensive, managed threat detection system. We help our clients choose and implement trusted solutions from providers at the head of the industry.
Tunneling, or encrypting packets of data to be transported through a secure “tunnel,” can be used to create secure connections over a public network and is used in tools such as VPNs. You can make remote solutions simple by automating the VPN connection process using an already pre-configured and automatically connecting VPN client, removing user interaction.
The domain name service (DNS) is what allows you to navigate to websites using URLs instead of having to type an entire IP address. Using DNS-layer security allows you to detect and stop malicious activity during your first step in connecting to the internet. It can also offer protection for off-network devices, providing your remote network with a flexible security option.
Each organization will, of course, need to take their own processes and goals into account when choosing specific solutions, but these protections are a great baseline for any business looking to strengthen their remote cybersecurity.
In any scenario, whether you’re connecting to the cloud or an on-premise network, a layered network security solution is your best cybersecurity defense.