Research Hub > How to Secure Your Remote Work Infrastructure

November 02, 2020

3 min

How to Secure Your Remote Work Infrastructure

The rapid shift from in-office to at-home operations has given way to new IT challenges. Here’s how to eliminate security vulnerabilities in a remote work environment.

At this stage of the pandemic, remote work is nothing new for most of us. But thriving in this environment is still very much a work in progress. As we all acclimate to our home lives and work lives combining, organizations must continue to hone their IT strategies to address new security needs. How can they do this? It’s a question my CDW colleagues and I explored in a virtual roundtable we held called “Securing the New Remote Workforce.”

Watch the full security roundtable on BizTech to learn about securing your remote work environment.

Let’s dive into a few key security takeaways this panel touched on.

1. Assess Your Current Security Capabilities

There are a few ways you can approach this. A security gap analysis pinpoints the differences between your current and ideal state of IT security. This method identifies potential security risks and gives teams a clear understanding of where they need to improve.

A policy audit is another valuable tactic. This involves a comprehensive review of a particular set of policies to understand their scope and purpose. From there, you can determine if they need to change to fit your new remote work reality.

2. Educate Employees

You might have regularly informed employees of common security risks such as email, text and voice-based attacks and malware, but they may not know how to handle these things on a home network. Chances are a large chunk of your workforce hasn’t worked from home before this year, so make sure employees understand that they need to be just as vigilant and cautious with their work devices at home as they were in the office.

A security training program that focuses on remote work security — Wi-Fi vulnerabilities, VPNs, phishing — could be the difference between a protected organization and one that’s breached.

3. Manage Remote Endpoints

IT teams need to make sure every device is secure, no matter where it is. If you perform a device posture check, which lets organizations review and ultimately improve the security health of their users’ machines, you can have a better sense of where your weak links are. A check could include making sure that the proper anti-virus software is installed, the operating system is up to date and that there isn’t any malware.

Organizations can also implement next-generation endpoint security solutions, which help organizations keep up with cyberattackers’ ever-evolving tactics. Next-generation endpoint security identifies and helps manage the risk of zero-day threats using cutting-edge techniques such as behavioral analysis, sandboxing, predictive analytics and threat intelligence.

Visibility is also a key element when it comes to remote security. Take advantage of network visibility modules to track user and endpoint behavior, on- or off-premises. Visibility modules collect data on users’ devices, application use and network history, which IT professionals can analyze for security vulnerabilities.

4. Conduct Threat Hunting Workshops

As the future of work evolves, organizations must be proactive with their security measures. Threat hunting involves actively searching for ways that a malicious user could compromise your security systems, disable operations and ultimately create havoc. The main benefit of participating in a threat hunting workshop is to identify threats that your existing security solutions could not.

In a threat hunting workshop, IT professionals test their abilities so they can respond more effectively to real threats. In these hands-on sessions, participants learn the latest threat hunting best practices, become accustomed to new security tools and determine how to incorporate threat hunting into their daily routines. Participants also have the chance to communicate with each other to share strategies and techniques.

5. Administer Tabletop Exercises

Tabletop exercises are another valuable security training tool. These incident preparedness activities involve a group of professionals being presented with a hypothetical security emergency that they must figure out how to resolve. These exercises are often informal and are meant to spark a meaningful dialogue between all participants.

The result? Your team becomes more aware of potential threats and is better prepared to deal with them in a real scenario. During the exercise, your team probably identified vulnerabilities that your organization can now prepare for.