Channel, OT Security

How to Protect the Expanding Edge

As organizations continue to support remote work options for their employees, many are working with their IT Service Providers to solve for increased web-based security needs. After all, employers must find a secure way to protect employees from online threats while working remotely or on-the-go. Connecting to the internet via risky, unsecured Wi-Fi connections at coffee shops, hotels and airports can put the entire corporate network at risk. Additionally, most folks working from home won’t know how to secure their ISP’s router, and most MSPs can’t make it out to every client's home to do it for them. An easier way to solve for that kind of insecure connectivity is through implementing a business VPN and managing users from a single account.

A business VPN encrypts all traffic between a user’s device and the internet, keeping all out-of-network users safe from online threats, attackers and vulnerabilities. According to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – “As organizations prepare for possible impacts of Coronavirus Disease 2019, many may consider alternate workplace options for their employees. Remote work options—or telework—require an enterprise virtual private network (VPN) solution to connect employees to an organization’s information technology (IT) network. As organizations elect to implement telework, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages organizations to adopt a heightened state of cybersecurity.”

The following are cybersecurity considerations regarding telework.

  • As organizations use VPNs for telework, more vulnerabilities are being found and targeted by malicious cyber actors.
  • As VPNs are 24/7, organizations are less likely to keep them updated with the latest security updates and patches.
  • Malicious cyber actors may increase phishing emails targeting teleworkers to steal their usernames and passwords.
  • Organizations that do not use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for remote access are more susceptible to phishing attacks.

Everyone is a road warrior

Most companies protect their internal network and data with extra security measures in the form of a VPN tunnel for remote salespeople and executives for example, but that’s it. Now, nearly all employees are “road warriors” and they’re accessing the network from anywhere with a signal. Mobile employees often work without any network perimeter security, missing out on an important part of a layered security defense. Mobile devices can often mask telltale signs of phishing attacks and other security threats.

Here’s how a VPN can help SMBs in particular.

  • Provides end-to-end encryption for devices connected to the internet
  • Allows remote data access and safe and secure data sharing
  • Business-grade VPN will protect the company intranet as well as enable employees to safely access unsecure Wi-Fi networks
  • Organizations may have a limited number of VPN connections, after which point no other employee can telework. With decreased availability, critical business operations may suffer, including IT security personnel’s ability to perform cybersecurity tasks.

As the network edge expands and most people are working from outside of the office, for IT services providers, it’s a great idea to look at VPN technology for themselves and their customers.

VIPRE Security recommends that all organizations utilize a layered security approach when implementing defensive measures. A top-rated endpoint security solution coupled with advanced email security and threat intelligence solutions will ensure that you are protected from malicious threats via multiple attack vectors.

Explore VIPRE’s business cybersecurity solutions today.

Guest blog courtesy of VIPRE. Read more guest blogs from VIPRE here.