By Terry Greer King, Vice President EMEA at SonicWall
While local governments and healthcare organizations around the world work to contain and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), businesses are working to keep employees safe and operations running. Consider these best practices when challenged by disaster or unforeseen circumstances.
Expand your remote workforce, securely
Organizations, businesses and enterprises are protecting their workforce and allowing employees to work remotely. Increasingly, this is becoming a mandated policy and potentially the sign of a new remote future.
Precautions like these, however, are causing unexpected increases in mobile and ‘work-from-home’ employees; many organizations don’t have enough virtual private network (VPN) licenses to accommodate the increase of users. This is a serious risk as employees will either not have access to business resources or, worse, they will do so via non-secure connections.
For this reason, security-conscious organizations should have scalable secure mobile or remote access solution in place (e.g., VPN) that can accommodate an influx of users (and the respective license requirements).
Review your business continuity plan
Disaster strikes in all forms. Whether malicious cyberattacks, inclement weather, power outages or pandemic, organizations should have built-in scenarios that help ensure business continuity in the face of uncertainty.
Organizations, SMBs and enterprises are encouraged to review their business continuity plans on a yearly basis. This should account for everything for communication channels, leadership, infrastructure, technology and more. Reference SonicWall’s ‘5 Core Practices to Ensure Business Continuity” as a helpful primer.
Defend against fear-based cyberattacks
Cybercriminals know how to successfully capitalize on trends, fears and human behavior. And the coronavirus outbreak is a prime opportunity for them to launch fear-based phishing campaigns, mobile malware, social-engineering attacks and more.
A range of phishing attacks were launched to take advantage of coronavirus fears, including phishing emails appearing to come from the World Health Organization. Organizations should ensure they have strong secure email security in place to mitigate aggressive phishing attacks.
In cases where phishing links are clicked by employees, staff, partners and contractors, cloud application security, Office 365 security and advanced endpoint protection solutions are required to mitigate malware from compromising networks or stealing credentials.
Protect your many endpoints
The new normal has waves of remote employees roaming outside the safety of the network perimeter. In some cases, this is a new experience and they may behave in the same manner as if they were protected by network security controls.
Organizations need to be prepared for an influx of attacks impacting endpoints. A single employee — either working remotely or bored from mandated quarantine — could click a phishing link that could lock data via ransomware, steal credentials or gain access to the corporate network.
A sound security strategy for remote workforces always includes proactive endpoint protection (or next-generation antivirus) that mitigates attacks before, during and after they execute. More advanced approaches include automated rollback to return infected Windows PCs to a previously clean state.
Work-from-Home VPN Solutions for Remote Workforces
To help organizations cost-effectively implement VPN technology for their rapidly expanding work-from-home employees, SonicWall is making its remote access products and services available to both new and existing customers at deeply discounted rates. Enterprise and SMB customers in the Middle East can avail free Secure Mobile Access (SMA) virtual appliances along with 50% discounts on SonicWall Cloud App Security and Capture Client endpoint protection when paired with SMA.