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Addressing Security Threats That Affect Remote Workforce Productivity

Today, a larger percentage of the workforce than ever before is logging on from home. U.S. News reports that more than half of Americans are working remotely either all or most of the time. 

As so many employees found themselves turning bedrooms and living rooms into impromptu office spaces at the beginning of the pandemic, leaders similarly scrambled to build a digital infrastructure that could withstand a stress test unlike any other. Now, as more organizations begin to permanently move toward a fully remote or hybrid work environment, there’s a pressing need for processes that can maintain the same degree of cybersecurity achieved on-premises.

Why should organizations continue to offer remote work?

Providing employees with the option to work remotely was once a “nice-to-have” perk. However, the flexible policy that once helped cutting-edge companies to stand out against their peers has become an expectation for an increasingly younger workforce.

Although work-from-home benefits are no longer a differentiator for organizations looking to attract new talent, Forbes has demonstrated that the policy still offers some major appeal for employers and employees alike, including:

  • Productivity: Teleworkers are an average of 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts, and have measured an output increase of at least 4.4%.
  • Performance: With stronger autonomy via location independence, workers produce results with 40% fewer quality defects.
  • Profitability: Organizations save an average of $11,000 per year per part-time teleworker, or 21% higher profitability.

Suffice to say, remote work isn’t going away anytime soon. However, to take advantage of these major cost savings and to capture new efficiencies, organizations will need to address their current approach to cybersecurity, future-proof processes and technology. 

By giving the IT team everything they need to defend your enterprise network, your company can continue to enjoy the benefit of offering remote work without having to fear the potential financial, legal and reputational damages associated with a security breach.

Educating your end-users: The risk of phishing attacks

As COVID-19 first broke out, Google found that phishing attacks had increased by 350%.  Hackers had quickly gotten to work, taking advantage of global uncertainty and a newly remote workforce.

The pandemic served as a catalyst for an increase in network threats across industries, and as more employees continue to remotely access sensitive data on a regular basis, these attacks will only become more rampant. Companies are experiencing an average of 1,185 attacks monthly, forcing teams to spend anywhere from one to four days trying to undo the effect of these malicious attacks. 

One of the best ways organizations can guard against phishing is to create clear, comprehensive email policies that help make the signs of an attempted attack clear, such as a missing signature, significant typos, suspicious or a spoofed address. Security awareness training should also include an ongoing phishing program where your IT team regularly sends fake phishing emails to your employees, helping you to gauge your risk whether you’ll need to create new resources to help spread awareness.

Although education will play a major part in securing your organization’s cybersecurity and protecting end-users, your IT team will need the resources to innovate some of their existing processes to further support this effort.

Automating patch updates 

Patches, updates created by developers after a software or app is released, typically aim to correct a problem users are experiencing, fix a security loophole or improve the overall functionality of the tool. 

Although 79.7% of IT managers have implemented a policy to manage patching, Help Net Security has found that 37.2% are still spending a minimum of eight hours a month on patching. Even more concerning are the 14% managers who say that they’re dedicating more than 48 hours each and every month to this time-consuming — but necessary —  administrative task. 

Automated patching technologies can give your IT team some time back in their day while also ensuring that your organization stays ahead of potential vulnerabilities in your software, operating systems and applications. These solutions work by constantly looking for new updates and proceeding to schedule and deploy patches when devices aren’t in use. Not only does this free up IT’s resources for more valuable tasks, but it also minimizes any potential downtime for your other employees.

Whether it’s to fix a post-release glitch or to address a major vulnerability, patches play an important role in maintaining enterprise network security — ensure your organization never misses one by leveraging an automatic patching tool.

Deploying a Deep Freeze solution

Although education and proactive security measures will go a long way in maintaining your organization’s overall cybersecurity, attacks are growing more complex and prevalent each and every day. If your organization does experience a successful security breach, Faronics’ Deep Freeze solution can help keep your organization safe.

Our patented technology protects remote networks by maintaining your company’s desired configuration and settings. With a simple reboot, employees can instantly restore their remote device to its original state, erasing any sign of a hacker. Not only does this help to reduce the strain on IT teams, but end users are also able to remain productive since they aren’t forced to wait for their device to be back online. 

If your organization is ready to improve your security or would like to learn more about our Deep Freeze technology, contact us today.

About The Author

Suzannah Hastings

Suzannah is interested in all things digital, from software security to the latest technological advances. She writes about ways in which the increasingly internet-driven landscape and windows technologies like steady state alternative that change our lives, and what we can expect in the future.

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