When lawmakers implemented “shelter-in-place” policies, most of us reacted by securing our baseline needs, stocking up on key supplies, and, most importantly, looking after the safety of our friends and families. But while your home offers physical safety and security, it’s a much less secure place for work. New research from cybersecurity experts estimates that 50% percent of home networks are exposed to undetected security threats, compared with 12% of corporate networks. And while IT teams usually have full visibility and control over office networks, they usually have no access to users’ home networks.
While it’s reasonable to be optimistic about a short- or medium-term return to the virtual shelters that are our corporate networks, the reality is that remote work is here to stay and will continue to become more popular. This leaves technology decisionmakers with the huge task of securing and supporting home networks without breaking a budget that’s now under increased economic pressure.
In our experience working with hundreds of businesses that have successfully migrated to secure remote-work arrangements, we have found a variety of common strategies to mitigate common risks. The central part of the strategy is to harden the tool that’s used for most remote work: the workstation. Most Kinetix clients already receive these essential workstation tools on all company-owned computers:
Network (DNS) traffic filtering
Enforcement of key security policies, including password enforcement and firewall
But what about other vulnerabilities on these home networks? Personal laptops, unsecured smartphones and tablets, smart-home devices, and consumer-grade networking equipment are now either directly or indirectly connected with your company data. The most cost-effective solutions we commonly recommend are:
Purchasing (or leasing) business-grade network equipment for home use by key employees or VIPs (this option is more affordable than you may think)
Enforcing the use of VPN
Restricting access to company resources to secure, virtual desktops
Your environment, of course, has its own unique needs relative to compliancy, data sensitivity, budget, and general risk tolerance. We would be happy to evaluate your current remote work security risk exposure and provide a customized solution that best fits your specific needs. Kinetix clients, please reach out to your Client Success Manager if this is a discussion that you would like to prioritize in the near future. If you’re not a client of Kinetix and are interested in learning more, please email us at email@example.com or use our Contact form.