A virtual private network (VPN) can be your most significant security risk during this COVID 19 pandemic. This has been proven beyond reasonable doubts from many research. Early this year, many companies laid off most of their employees, but some who were privileged enough to remain were given the alternative of working from home.

These employees, while working at home, are using the company’s virtual private network (VPN) to access corporate resources from the Data Centre or in the cloud. So the problem of security threat starts with whatever they are using can be solved by visiting https://surfshark.com/servers/singapore. This can either be personal computers or family computers.

If the employee uses the family computer to connect to the office, the computer files can reach the office. According to Alissa knight, the problem of using the family computer and the home network is not the security of the VPN connection but the home environment.

Using a home network can also be a significant challenge, especially when your router is configured to the office VPN server. A permanent connection may be established between the employees’ home network and the company’s. This means the company has access to employees’ files and vice versa.

Home network can also use the company’s VPN connection for their internet access; this allows employees to access games and social media using the corporate system and, at the same time, make downloads through your corporate routers. This means that whatever the employee is doing, the company will be solely responsible.

COVID 19 came up unexpectedly, and as they say, desperate situations require desperate measures. Working from home was a drastic measure many companies had to undertake. This is because they weren’t prepared for it precisely on the side of cybersecurity. Most companies designed their VPN for the emergency and off-hours, but its use has become significant.

Most homeowners don’t develop their network to handle security issues when they use the company’s VPN; this makes it easy for individuals with malicious intent to access the company’s data system.

Working from home was initially thought to be temporary, but with the prolonged COVID 19 pandemic, it should be considered a permanent adjustment to the workforce. It is very cost-effective. Unfortunately, criminals are evolving to take advantage of it. Companies should make adjustments as far as VPN is concerned to curb the risks posed by these criminals.

Initially, VPN was designed to cater to 10-20percent of the company’s mobile workforce. With the majority working from home, the internet bandwidth has been tremendously loaded, so in order to manage the network traffic load and security risk, experts recommend the following.

  • You should deploy data loss prevention mechanism, endpoint detection as well as response technologies. These are essential steps as far as COVID 19 is concerned. It is also imperative for the organization to conduct regular risk reviews, especially on the remote access solution and cloud-hosted applications.

If possible, the organizations should subdivide the workload on VPNs. This can be done by allowing a limited number of employees who use the remote access server at any given time. This allows for safer access to sensitive and critical information without any network risks.

  • You should have a planned back up VPN if possible, go for an active, passive VPN setup. This can help in load shifting between devices hence solving the problem of traffic. It would also appropriate to revisit your agreement with your vendor and ask for an extra device.
  • You should take a new approach to security, especially with this sudden growth of the remote workforce. It is appropriate to configure security in the cloud. This is a better alternative than using a stack of security appliances for the protection of data center and internal networks.

Configuring security with the cloud can help to connect user applications more securely.

Before you transform the traditional network and security architecture to a cloud-centric one, it is imperative to evaluate the application landscape.

Evaluation of the current security effectiveness of external threats is also appropriate. This goes along with measures of protecting the company’s data from exfiltration.

  • Zero trusts should be your policy, especially when the number of employees accessing the cloud data is high. This is an approach which many organizations are using lately, and it includes the use of multifactor authentication.

Accessing the cloud-based database requires someone to look into privileged access management (PAM). The classification of data here is crucial as it will help in the implementation of the right controls. Necessary data will, therefore, not be downloaded.

  • Other short term steps you can take to improve the security of your company, especially when the remote workforce is concerned, are as follows.

First, you will need to identify and segregate the employees with no access to sensitive information. Their access to the company’s cloud system can be removed temporarily and be given to those who handle confidential information who, at the same time, can work on behalf of other team members. With this, the issues of network traffic can be avoided.

The workforce stagger approach can also be a good alternative. In this approach, you divide the workforce into two batches, and you assign them time to access the information.

Taking care of the company’s data should not be limited to security tools. Employees working remotely should be equipped with the right education, especially on security matters. IT professionals in your company should be responsible for this.

In conclusion, companies should be hyper-vigilant with their security system because hackers can use different approaches, for instance, targeting zoon domains or retail businesses to access the company’s vital information. They can also use tricks on employees, and in such a situation, no toll can help. So as you are fighting the pandemic, don’t get distracted, visit us to learn more tips on how to remain in business as we fight this disease. Remain cautious and alert, and above all, if there is any malicious activity in your system, report it immediately.

About the Author

This article was submitted and written by one of our contributors.

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