Working from home (WFH) was a foreign concept for most Americans before COVID-19 changed everything.
In mid-March, a Gallup poll found that just 31% of U.S. workers had ever worked remotely. By early April, that number climbed to 62%. And six months later, while some organizations were slowly transitioning employees back to the workplace, others were extending their WFH practices.
Google plans to keep nearly 200,000 employees working remotely until at least July 2021. Airbnb is extending the option through the end of August 2020, while Microsoft is offering it on a permanent basis.
First and foremost, make sure all your employees are using a virtual private network (VPN) with multi-factor authentication (MFA). Also, make sure you filter VPN connections to ensure all devices that connect through your VPN have antivirus software, an active firewall and up-to-date security patches.
Of course, using a VPN is just one step to keeping your network secure while employees are working remotely. Education should play an ongoing role. Keep your workers abreast of the latest COVID-19 scams and reinforce best practices for using technology during this trying time.
Employees should be on the lookout for everything from malware to phishing attacks. The more aware they are of potential security threats, the better prepared they’ll be.
WFH has introduced a number of new challenges and obstacles for everyone from employees to IT, and threat actors sense the vulnerability. But it’s not enough to merely adapt your security practices to the new circumstances. You also must make sure employees understand and abide by security policies and practices. This will help ensure your systems are protected while employees work safely from home.