By Jesús Cortina, general manager and executive vice president at GM Sectec
The continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has encouraged remote work as an additional measure to prevent the increase of infections. But in terms of security, is your business ready for this transition?
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not immune to the crisis caused by this pandemic. Millions of SMEs around the world, who had no previous experience in cybersecurity matters, have suddenly been forced to face new challenges such as virtual private networks and secure remote work.
Remote work is not just encouraging staff to connect to the business’ main applications. It involves developing a policy that brings together all of the company’s core functions, like executive and commercial management, coordination of human resources and effective support from an operational information systems platform that guarantees the protection of company data. All of this taking into consideration that the employees will be connected to a domestic infrastructure that is able to fend off cyberattacks.
For you, as a business owner, implementing a remote work plan involves several considerations:
- Make sure that all digital applications and operating systems are up to date, both in the business’ infrastructure and the employees’ devices (laptops, desktops, tablets and phones). This is one of the best defenses against common online viruses and malware.
- Evaluate and consolidate all disaster backup and recovery policies. Cyberattack threats increase when connectivity limits are extended to connection points outside the business.
- Include advanced antivirus monitoring and device protection technologies that work outside the traditional perimeter.
- Provide essential tools so employees can communicate securely with the business.
- Check with Internet providers and inquire about best practices for remote work using their networks.
- If you need to use points of sale to keep your business going during the pandemic, visit the PCI compliance portal. It provides tools and guidelines to keep your business’ cyber transactions secure.
- Finally, your business needs to be fully committed to reinforcing a security-oriented culture among your employees, especially in light of incidents of social engineering, malware and phishing. Now more than ever, an employee can be the target of cyberattacks.
These are some actions you should implement with your employees who are working remotely:
- Provide them with adequate access to your company’s critical resources through SaaS (Software as a Service) services.
- Create a transition plan towards remote work and maintain a remote assistance channel with one of your service providers (Internet, IT, among others).
- Only use secure laptops and mobile phones and enable multiple verification factor (MFA) password policies so they are not compromised when used outside your business.
- Consider the use of VPN services to protect critical data connections and the applications that are essential for your business’ continuity. The VPN service can be crucial in protecting sensitive company data against criminals who could be targeting a wi-fi hotspot or even use intrusive tactics to breach home-based connections.
- Promote a culture of security. Now, more than ever, users who work remotely will be targets for attacks.
For more information on how to protect your business from cyberattacks, click here.
GM Security Technologies creates innovative solutions that help accelerate businesses’ progress in areas like managed hosting services, multi-tenure, business continuity, integrated security (physical and technological) and cyber security, as well as automation and process orchestration. Our goal is to offer cost efficiency to both customers and business partners. Our principles of simplicity, innovation and customer success have made us the leading and fastest growing provider of security and technology in northern Latin America.
Banco Popular of Puerto Rico (“Popular”) is not affiliated nor related to the individuals or entities mentioned in this article. This article is for informative purposes only, and does not constitute an endorsement or guarantee of its accuracy. Neither Popular nor any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or related entities are, nor might be held liable for any special, direct, or indirect, damages, resulting from reliance on the information contained in this article, which Popular did not prepare. Popular provides financial services) and does not provide the type of service referenced in this article. If you need any related service, you should request the advice of the competent professional of your preference.