The number of companies moving to remote work is rapidly increasing, and the number of people who work remotely at least once per week has grown by?400% since 2010.

Unfortunately, the increase in remote work has increased cyberattacks, and companies are reevaluating their workflows and security procedures to protect themselves. With that in mind, here are some guidelines companies should enforce when working remotely.

Identity Protection

While working remotely, companies should increase security policies to protect identities. This is done by using strong passwords, multi-factor authentication and geo-location.

Password Management

When choosing a password, employees should use something complicated and unrelated to their personal life. Personal information (birthdays, children’s names, etc.) may be easy to guess when hackers are on the prowl. Passwords should include symbols and a variation of upper and lowercase letters.

Many companies use a password manager, such as 1Password or LastPass, to keep all of their passwords in a secure, central location.

Multi-Factor Authentication

While having a complicated password is a good security measure, companies must utilize multi-factor authentication when working with sensitive data. When using multi-factor authentication, a user will enter their password and then receive a code or second sign-on option through email. This security measure is much stricter and more reliable than just a password.

Network Protection

?Protect Cloud-based Services

Cloud-based solutions are very common for work-from-home setups. A company’s security procedures must cover them efficiently. Cisco Umbrella is one cloud-based solution that addresses security while allowing full visibility into network activity. It does this by delivering clean traffic to an organization’s network and devices, predicting future cyber-attacks before they occur and blocking various threats over ports and protocols.

Use a VPN

Employees must steer clear of public networks when working with sensitive data. Instead, companies should implement a secure VPN and require employees to use it for all work-related tasks. For companies whose VPNs get overloaded with too much activity, circulate some parameters as to when employees should use the VPN (i.e. when working with sensitive data or certain applications). Ensure that the VPN?s supporting firewall and systems are up to date.

Endpoint Protection

A fairly secure network can still be penetrated by authorized ? but infected ? devices. Organizations should set parameters and monitor for device security to prevent devices from becoming compromised. Some recommended requirements include:

  • Password-protecting devices.
  • Only using a work-authorized device for work-related activity.
  • Not sharing work devices.
  • Enabling remote lock and wipe capabilities for devices, should they be lost or stolen.
  • Keeping a short auto-logout timeframe so the device doesn?t stay logged in when idle.
  • Keeping software up-to-date.
  • Using anti-malware software.

Venture Network Solutions is a Certified Premier Cisco partner with years of experience deploying Cisco security solutions for both remote and centralized organizations. Cisco Umbrella is the suggested holistic security solution that works for any workforce setup, whether dispersed or not. To learn more about Cisco Umbrella and how we implement it, download the Cisco Umbrella datasheet.