In the wake of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Trustwave has compiled cybersecurity recommendations and free resources to help organizations ensure continued, secure operations. We understand that many businesses have had to shift their workforce from in-office to working from home. While many organizations are structured to accommodate remote workers, many are not. As a trusted advisor our goal is to help our clients stay secure through this unprecedented time.
Challenges and Security Risks Associated with Employees Working from Home
Lack of standardized work from home policies
Many companies are not prepared for employees working from home, with policies enacted rapidly with little employee training. Companies that traditionally favor desktops will need to quickly supply loaner laptops or even purchase laptops for new remote workers. The pressure to achieve productivity quickly could lead to incomplete security configurations and potentially dangerous vulnerabilities.
Lack of a secure mobile infrastructure
Companies may not have a well-defined secure mobile infrastructure which could lead to rushed and dangerous implementations.
VPN installation and risks
Employees may not have installed or even have access to VPN software. If employees are expected to do this on their own, it could lead to misconfigurations or even accidental downloads from a malicious site.
Insecure transfer of sensitive information
Employees may frequently access or transfer confidential company information over unsecured wi-fi networks. Corporate firewalls, UEBA and file integrity monitoring may not be effectively implemented for remote employees. Security gaps should be assessed and countermeasures put in place as soon as possible.
10 Recommendations to Mitigate Working-from-Home Risk
- Secure your premises’ physical access to avoid intrusion and physical access to your data.
- Alert your users on COVID-19-related active phishing campaigns. The Trustwave SpiderLabs email threat research team has observed a major spike in Coronavirus themed phishing emails. Cybercriminals have enticed victims to click on malicious links or open malicious attachments by claiming cures, massive death tolls, and other related news items. For more information, read our blog post.
- Remind your staff not to connect through public wifi and to change their default router password for personal wifi network.
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication whenever possible.
- Ensure that your VPN provider has enough capacity for handling a rise in traffic.
- Monitor and review your access logs for detection of abnormal behavior.
- Monitor and review your critical applications logs for off-baseline activities.
- Constantly monitor your data exfiltration points (including O365 and VPN sessions).
- Monitor and investigate your data loss prevention (DLP) alerts.
- Limit the extension of your user’s rights and permissions with the principle of “need-to-know.”