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The IT Guide to Threat Detection in a Remote Work Environment

Think your organization will be working remotely for the long haul? You’re not alone. According to a July 2020 survey from Gartner, over 80% of businesses that are currently remote plan to allow employees to work from home at least some of the time, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

While there’s much to be said for the advantages of remote work, like increased flexibility and reduced commuting, the setup does pose some unique cybersecurity challenges. Many organizations were forced to adjust their cybersecurity protocols almost overnight at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The result has been an increase in cyberattacks in 2020 —  with malware attacks alone rising by 358%, according to Forbes. As your organization looks to make last year’s added remote capabilities a permanent part of the plan, it’s important that your threat detection is updated for the long haul. Otherwise, you run an increased risk of facing a threat, and the data theft and downtime that accompany it.

The risks of remote work

Compared to a traditional office format, where workstations generally stay in one place and are all on a central network, a remote infrastructure presents IT teams with several obstacles. For starters, employees are more likely to be using personal devices and unsecured networks. These add a multitude of risks and limit the purview of an IT department. In fact, according to a survey from SailPoint, only 17% of remote workers are using a device provided by their employer.

A remote workplace also can also increase the chance of human error leading to a threat. Working from home gives employees who may lack proper training a level of autonomy and separation from IT that they wouldn’t have at an office workstation. Even tech-savvy workers who know how to spot a phishing scam in their email account could be susceptible to a mistake — especially while simultaneously dealing with the stressors of pandemic life, like isolation and at-home child care. The result has been a significant uptick in cybersecurity attacks linked to human error, according to research from ESET and Myers-Briggs.

Improving your threat detection

Ultimately, one of the key ways to identify and prevent threats is through employee education. According to SailPoint, almost half of all employees in the U.S. have been targeted with a phishing email, phone call or text message. As these threats become increasingly more sophisticated and better at replicating official correspondences, it’s important that employees know the signs of a phishing scam and have a system in place for informing IT.

Ensuring basic standards for network security is also a must. One idea is to send out a survey to employees asking about their current network setup and help ensure their home Wi-Fi is up to speed. The federal government, for example, requires workers to utilize either a private agency network or cloud applications, according to official CIO guidelines. Another essential best practice is multi-factor authentication. Not only will requiring multiple logins make it easier to keep hackers who have stolen some of your personal information at bay, but it’ll also make it easier for your IT team to keep tabs on who is utilizing your programs.

Ultimately, a remote setup makes the IT professional’s job harder because it disperses responsibility to employees. Ensuring a common standard across networks and devices is a key starting point for detecting and preventing attacks. Reboot-to-restore software should be a part of that equation.

The reboot-to-restore advantage

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans aren’t enough to prevent a cyberattack. In the event of human error or a complex security attack, Faronics’ patented reboot-to-restore technology allows you to freeze your endpoints to the desired state and restore from unexpected changes with a simple reboot. Users can instantly restart their device to your IT team’s default configuration, removing any unwanted software or third-party changes. This technology can be deployed on remote workstations with just the click of a button.

Faronics also offers all-encompassing endpoint management solutions to address any organization’s security needs. Our Anti-Virus system provides exceptional virus, spyware and rootkit detection, and also includes firewall protection for comprehensive, rock-solid security. Only approved programs are able to go through, and users can easily stop processes from trying to rename file extensions that are known to be set by attacks like ransomware, trojans and zero-day threats.

Now more than ever, your network environment is at risk as employees access sensitive organizational data from home. Avoid costly downtimes and prevent malicious hackers from getting in with Faronics’ wide array of security solutions.

To learn more, explore our products online or sign up for a free trial 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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