Cybersecurity Considerations while Employees Work from Home

cybersecurity

As organizations look for ways to continue operating in today’s environment, many are allowing a variety of workplace options for their employees. Working remotely —or telework— requires an enterprise virtual private network (VPN) solution to connect employees to an organization’s information technology (IT) network.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber agency, underlined concerns by issuing an alert on Friday, March 13, pointing to specific cyber vulnerabilities around working from home versus the office.

CISA zeroed in on potential cyberattacks on virtual private networks (VPNs), which enable employees to access an organization’s files remotely. These networks may make it easier to telecommute, but, according to CISA, they also open up a tempting way for hackers to get in. 

CISA encourages organizations to strengthen their cyber security efforts to ensure their network systems are protected, as well as their employees.

What to Consider

  • 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 cybersecurity tasks.

How to Mitigate Risks

Below are recommendations when considering alternate workplace options.

Reach out to RPS

To learn how Raytheon Professional Services’ cyber training experts can help you address your organization’s needs, please contact us, our visit our website at RPS.com.

Do you have lessons learned that you’d like to share? Start a conversation in the comments below or connect with us on LinkedIn, or at @RaytheonRPS using hashtags, #CyberSecurity, #CyberAttack, #CyberCrime, #learning, #training.

References

CISA Alert (AA20-073A) Enterprise VPN Security

NIST Special Publication 800-46 v.2, Guide to Enterprise Telework, Remote Acces…

CISA Cyber Essentials

CERT/CC: VPN – A Gateway for Vulnerabilities

National Security Agency Cybersecurity Advisory: Mitigating Recent VPN Vulnerab…

CISA Insights: Risk Management for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Telework.gov Guidance