The coronavirus pandemic has forced companies of all sizes to rethink their digital operations and integrate new technologies that enable remote work, support device-agnostic workflows and improve their cybersecurity readiness. While system and data security were already a top concern before COVID-19 appeared, the current business landscape is full of new IT challenges and digital threats.
According to research from CSO, an internet-based news agency focused on enterprise security, 61% of surveyed IT leaders are worried about an increase in cyberattacks that target remote employees. The same study found that 26% of organizations have experienced an uptick in the frequency, severity and scope of cyberattacks since March 2020. To stay ahead of these threats, organizations are taking steps to increase their visibility and control over remote workstations, business applications and cloud-based infrastructure.
Combating cybercrime in work-from-home environments
One of the biggest cybersecurity challenges related to COVID-19 has to do with remote monitoring and vulnerability assessment. With so many employees working from home, IT administrators are struggling to maintain best practices and educate users about emergent security threats. While managing on-premises IT systems and software usually requires a lot more back-end support than cloud-based solutions, it also offers more oversight at the device level. Companies that have had to quickly deploy new telecommunication and data-sharing technologies likely didn’t have time to configure the sort of tailored cybersecurity controls needed to ward off data breaches, malware distribution and brute-force attacks.
“Organizations of all kinds are facing an uptick in email-based threats, endpoint-security gaps and other problems as a result of the sudden switch to a fully remote workforce,” said William Altman, senior analyst at the Global Cyber Center of NYC, during a virtual cybersecurity event held in April 2020, Forbes reported.
Among the key concerns, businesses are having to pay closer attention to home Wi-Fi security, the risk of phishing scams and lax device and/or application passwords. In terms of specific device behaviors, participants of the virtual event were cautioned to look out for these common signs of a cyber breach:
- New programs appearing that were not manually installed
- Slow or inconsistent device performance
- Strange, unprompted pop-up ads
- Complete loss of control over the mouse or keyboard
While these warning signs are rather straightforward to spot, it’s up to the end-user to take steps to mitigate the associated cybersecurity vulnerabilities and ensure their workstations have the latest software and OS versions installed. These concerns aren’t just applicable during the pandemic, as the aforementioned CSO survey found that 73% of respondents believe the health crisis will change the way their organizations evaluate risk for the next five years. The need for forward-looking solutions has never been so apparent, but finding the right remote management tool will take time, effort and buy-in from organizational leaders.
Essential remote management capabilities
Deploying new cybersecurity solutions may seem like an obvious defense against these (and other) cybersecurity risks, but the oversaturation of the IT security market has made it difficult to select the right platform. Every business has different operational needs and financial constraints – looking for a one-size-fits-all solution can end up doing more harm in the long run, as it can lead to wasted spending, mismatched management capabilities and siloed applications. Instead, IT leaders should focus on integrating specific capabilities that will enhance their visibility and control over remote workstations.
As noted by the Center for Internet Security, businesses must ensure their remote workers are taking steps to secure their personal devices. This includes keeping up with application and operating system patches, installing antivirus software, setting up firewalls and more. Without a centralized management platform, IT administrators may struggle to ensure end-users are upholding best practices and taking their cybersecurity responsibilities seriously. That’s where Farnoic’s Deploy application can help.
With Deploy, IT administrators can proactively manage remote devices and send updates in real-time without the need for human intervention. This level of control is essential for reducing cybersecurity risks and ensuring all devices connected to corporate networks are protected, authorized and monitored around the clock. Integrating Deploy offers companies policy-based management capabilities for applications and Windows updates, along with a suite of features that can help maximize device-level security and seamlessly deploy new remote workstations. This can help streamline a variety of IT management tasks, such as:
- Application and software patching, including MS Office, Adobe, Google Chrome and more
- Automating operating system updates for Windows and Mac machines
- Facilitating new hardware and software deployments
- Maintaining remote usage and performance monitoring, backed by real-time analytics
Thanks to Deploy’s decentralized cloud-based architecture, organizations can manage any number of devices independently or in batches. Failed application and OS updates are detected instantly, providing unmatched oversight based on a set of predefined, granular controls. For example, IT administrators can use Deploy to disable or freeze updates for specific applications, test out new versions before pushing patches to end-users and send out customized URLs to more easily install critical agents.