Cyber Security Considerations Regarding Telework or Remote Work Options in COVID 19

This blog is posted on behalf of Nilesh Gavali. As organizations prepare for possible impacts of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), many may consider alternate workplace options for their employees. Remote work options—or telework—require an enterprise virtual private network (VPN) solution to connect employees to an organization’s information technology (IT) network. As organizations elect to implement telework, the Cyber security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages organizations to adopt a heightened state of cyber-security.

The following are cyber-security considerations regarding telework:

  • As organizations use VPNs for telework, more vulnerabilities are being found and targeted by malicious cyber actors.

  • As VPNs are 24/7, organizations are less likely to keep them updated with the latest security updates and patches.

  • Malicious cyber actors may increase phishing emails targeting teleworkers to steal their usernames and passwords.

  • Organizations that do not use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for remote access are more susceptible to phishing attacks.

  • Organizations may have a limited number of VPN connections, after which point no other employee can telework. With decreased availability, critical business operations may suffer, including IT security personnel’s ability to perform cyber-security tasks.

More reference available at 

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/aa20-073a - Enterprise VPN Security

https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/20_0306_cisa_...

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-010 - Using caution with  mail attachment.

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-014 - Covid-19 Phishing mail awareness.

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