Here are four things to make sure you are taking extra precautions when it comes to cyber security during the shelter in place. You have more unknowns now than ever. We do not have control over our business decisions that we are used to only a few weeks ago. With the government making decisions in the best interest of everyone, some people are going to suffer. Making sure someone is monitoring and making sure processes happen appropriately during this time will be one less thing you have to think about during the Shelter-in-place order.
Now more than ever, we have to understand what we have with our network or have a person that you trust that genuinely understands your system and can advise. Most networks are set up only to handle part of the company working remotely. With everyone working remotely because of the Shelter-in-Place order, you should be checking if your network can sustain everyone working remotely. Does it have the bandwidth and equipment to handle everyone connecting to the office? If you want people to stay productive during this time, their remote setup has to work as good or better than them working in the office.
To quickly get people working, a lot of companies took spare computers and sent them home with people. The problem with this is most of these machines have been online. Introducing a computer that does not have the most recent security updates into a person's home network is a significant risk. You do not have control of your employee's home networks. Also, if these machines do not have windows application updates, they will not get the performance that is required to be able to work from home.
VPN and Remote Desktop
Companies for the most have two options, VPN or Remote Desktop. Both can work, and both have pros and cons. The short version is VPN allows you to take your work computer home and connect to the network and work as usual. The issue is that you are on your home network. If something does happen to your computer while connected to the VPN, the whole company is at risk. Remote desktop is excellent because you can use a portal or application to remote to your work computer securely in the office and work as usual. If something happens to your home computer, the company is not at risk. The issue is performance, with everyone in the company remotely connecting into the network performance is the number one pain point that stops people from working.
With layoffs and furloughs happening at companies nationwide, this is where things get dropped. Scheduling with IT before these happen and making sure that their access is off and appropriate personal have access to their work and email keeps things running. Putting people in the proper security groups after they leave will ensure that any access that they have, hackers looking for dormant accounts can not access them.