Recent surveys of small and medium sized businesses have shown that roughly 80 percent of them have incorporated or expanded their work-from-home capabilities and policies this summer. Concurrently, there has been an uptick in the number of cyberattacks. Not surprisingly, this poses new challenges for IT departments.
The biggest challenge, of course, is ensuring that the proper security measures will still apply to a largely remote workforce. This puts additional focus on security at the device level, since there will be a whole host of devices that will now access your business network.
Putting Device Security First
Before Covid19 disrupted most business routines, most IT departments built their security frameworks specifically to protect enterprise networks and the information within them. This usually meant relying on VPNs to keep business networks safe. However, with such a massive increase in remote workers, VPNs are often not sufficient enough to keep networks secure. IT departments must begin to focus more heavily on device security.
Mobile Device Management Solutions
Working remotely almost exclusively means utilizing mobile devices, sometimes more than one at a time. A mobile device management (MDM) solution allows your IT department to inventory all work-related devices, to monitor those devices remotely and ensure that they’re equipped with the right security measures and updated software from anywhere. (Remember that your IT department may also be working remotely.)
Some of these security measures include:
- Multi-factor authentication, in addition to basic password protection.
- The latest malware software updates.
- The installation of critical software patches.
Update Business Emergency Plans
Very few, if any, businesses ever expected something like the current pandemic to happen, and never foresaw the disruptions it would cause to normal business routines. Business emergency plans, if they existed at all, more than likely did not cover a pandemic.
If you do have an emergency plan in place, your IT department needs to update them to address emerging risks and securing individual devices and providing guidelines for long-term remote work.
If you do not have one in place, then now is the time to begin the process of developing and documenting an emergency plan. Without documentation, it will be impossible to communicate the plan to your remote workforce – and even harder to launch a response, should it become necessary.
Reconsidering Business Network Security
As a result of the current pandemic and the ways that it has drastically affected business processes, IT departments must begin designing their responses to support the company at the device level. This involves using the right mobile device management solution to monitor and prepare devices so that employees can work wherever they are.