Security Tips for a Remote Work Environment

March 30, 2020

By: Caroline Cornell

If your organization recently made the urgent switch to a remote workforce, don’t treat any security or business continuity efforts as a one-and-done endeavor. Ongoing risk management, specifically risk reduction and awareness, will be vital for continued success.

Fortunately, for most organizations, this doesn’t need to be anything elaborate or time-intensive…but you need to do something.

In just a few hours you can help reduce known security risks and set your remote workforce up for ongoing success.

Here are a few tips to get you on your way:

Create backup plans for critical services

Your business likely relies on new digital tools and functions that you may not have had a few weeks ago. As noted in the image below, the internet as a whole has seen a drop in performance over the past weeks. While the U.S. internet shouldn’t have any issues maintaining a high level of service, you should still have backup plans in place for functions like your online conferencing system.

Identify and document core functions 

If you only have a couple of individuals that can access and manage critical systems such as payroll, accounts payable, billing, CRM, or essential IT functions, it’s important that you cross-train to avoid gaps. This will ensure that the business can continue operating in the unfortunate event that employees become sick.

Train your staff about COVID-19 scams 

Cybercriminals thrive on chaos. Train your staff to recognize these cyber scams. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends you:

  • Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails
  • Only visit trusted sources for COVID-19 news, like government websites
  • Refrain from sharing personal and financial information over email
  • Verify all charities prior to donating money

Enhance home/ remote cyber defenses

There is a ton of online resources on how to secure home-based networks and systems properly. A few essential items to implement quickly:

  • Change your router’s default password.
  • Check that your router and other systems are up to date on all security patches.
  • Ensure you are using WPA2 if using WiFi. You can quickly find this out by going to your WiFi properties or settings. If you are using a Mac, simply hold down the option key and click the WiFi icon simultaneously. `
  • If possible, segment your work PC from the rest of your WiFi/network; insecure systems and IoT devices are not your friends here.
  • If employees have resorted to using personal devices due to the overnight change to remote work, consider procuring and mailing company-managed laptops to them. You can also leverage virtual desktop infrastructure, such as dizzion.com, that allows employees to access their work computers from any device.

Consider Moving to the Cloud

Lastly, if your organization has been heavily reliant on on-premise systems, you’ve likely already faced work disruptions. Insecure access to already security-challenged legacy systems has also likely exposed you to even more security threats.

If you haven’t already moved to the cloud, now is a better time than any to do so as it will support your overall security risk reduction efforts. To see how Litify’s cloud-based practice management system can help you, schedule a free personalized demo. If you need a quick-to-implement remote solution, our LitifyGo product may be right for you.