5 Network Security Issues to Address When Employees are Working from Home

If your employees are currently working from home, you should consider some potential network security risks. CyberArk, a leader in privileged access management, surveyed work-from-home employees and found these alarming facts:

  • 77 percent of remote employees are on the “BYOD” system, or, “Bring your Own Device.” This potentially means unmanaged, non-secured devices.
  • 66 percent are using tools like Zoom and Microsoft Team. Both are useful tools, but both platforms have recently reported security vulnerabilities.
  • 93 percent are reusing the same password in a variety of situations
  • 37 percent save work-related passwords in their browsers
  • 29 percent allow other family members to use their devices for activities such as games, homework, and online shopping

From a security standpoint, this situation is far from ideal. For a start, address these five points to help tighten your network security.

Communicate clearly with employees. Update your old protocol guide, or create a new one, to reflect the realities of remote work. Distribute these guides to every employee. Make sure they understand the protocol and set forth clear procedures in the event of a suspected security breach or device loss.

Implement and Update VPN settings. Your employees should be using a company-provided VPN (Virtual Private Network), which is reviewed periodicially to ensure the settings and limitations are acceptable.

Review employee WiFi procedures. Home WiFi networks should be secured the same as an office network. Make sure your employees are aware of the security risk of “Internet of Things” (“IoT”) devices such as thermostats, cameras, etc., and that their home network is protected by a strong password and firewall.

Protect every device. Each employee should use a device that is dedicated only to work tasks, and not shared with family members. Each device must be protected by a strong password. Security updates should be installed immediately when prompted, and data encryption should be activated.

Use two-factor authentication. Check your cloud system and any other shared programs for two-factor authentication, and turn it on.

This is not an exhaustive list. Continue to enlist everyone in your company to help maintain network security. In today’s virtual workplace, remaining vigilant in matters large and small can help prevent a major breach.

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Michael Kimball, Esq.

Mike Kimball offers practical, timely, and economical legal solutions that move projects along and allow you to focus more on your core business objectives. He has years of experience partnering with companies ranging from Silicon Valley startups to firms in aerospace, biotech, construction, and many more. Mike’s in-house experience includes Yahoo!, Krux Digital (acquired by Salesforce), and Commerce One. He has worked on transactions with Eurostar, Red Bull, Major League Baseball, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Liveramp, Amazon, and NASCAR.