Business leaders worldwide are asking the same question with enterprise-level data breaches at an all-time high: Is remote access safe? As an MSP, you realize that it depends on a few items to mitigate security risks associated with remote access, including enforcing security procedures and protocols that protect against cyber attacks and protect against unauthorized access to sensitive information. Remote access offers flexibility for managed service providers to execute a wide variety of IT activities from anywhere. From IT repair and troubleshooting to asset tracking and bandwidth monitoring, these tasks include everything.
Unfortunately, working with an inexperienced network security engineer who is not prepared with the right instruments to perform the job efficiently will leave an organization vulnerable to countless security risks.
- What is remote computer access?
- Remote access benefits
- Remote Access Security Risks And How To Prevent Them
What is remote computer access?
Software for remote device access helps you to remotely access networks and devices. It will allow the sharing of files. It’s like using a remote control for a device or system that isn’t near you. You would be able to remotely download files and apps to your laptop or mobile phone from your desktop or another person’s computer. Remote access also helps you to monitor the remote computer.
Remote access benefits
- The capacity to easily troubleshoot.
- Easy monitoring and control of devices linked to the same network.
- File-sharing effectively.
- The capacity of your computer, including files and programs, to mirror the original device.
Remote Access Security Risks And How To Prevent Them
Here are four top security risks that teams must face and best practices in technology and user education to keep users and data secure.
- Weak remote access policies
Attackers will also penetrate the rest of the network like a hot knife through butter once they access a virtual private network (VPN). Historically, many businesses have mostly implemented VPNs for technical people who need access to sensitive technology properties. Unlike the case today, as a more reliable connection than home or public networks, VPNs are also encouraged for all users. The issue is that many legacy firewall rules allow virtually everything on the network to be accessed. We have shared examples of the exploitation by disgruntled former workers of this type of vulnerability, and it can be exploited by attackers just as easily.
Recommendation: It is important that businesses implement user identity-based access, give particular groups access only to what they require to get their tasks done, and extend access from there as required. With network segmentation and Layer seven access control, patching internal servers and clients, and using advanced threat detection and antivirus technologies to block intrusion attempts, you can also decrease an attacker’s ability to travel laterally across the network. These concepts of Zero Confidence will help to restrict your exposure.
- A deluge of new safety devices
Many companies have been forced to buy and ship new laptops and other gadgets to their new remote employees through global “stay at home” policies. Some companies allow workers to use personal home appliances temporarily for business purposes. For security teams, this surge in new devices poses specific challenges. Teams must ensure the security of these devices against malware and viruses. They need to make sure they can remotely install, manage, and maintain security products for a geographically dispersed workforce.
Recommendation: If you have not already done so, begin by expanding endpoint security to all your remote users-both endpoint defense as well as detection and response capabilities. Consider endpoint and network security technologies, such as cloud-native approaches tailored for geographically dispersed workforces. These solutions can block endpoint threats, such as ransomware, vulnerabilities, and fileless attacks, but also recognize risky actions, such as the use of unauthorized home desktop sharing apps by employees. Restricted access to corporate networks to only trustworthy devices ( e.g., those that meet specified requirements by profiles of host information)
- Opportunistic attempts at phishing
Phishing is also the number one way to obtain access to corporate networks. The optimal conditions for phishing are a global pandemic, as adversaries also use terror, urgency, and panic as instruments to pressure people into clicking on malicious links. Coronavirus-based spam is now being utilized as bait, and some users can click something due to over-communication and panic.
Recommendation: User education is paramount once again! Ensure everyone in your company knows how to recognize and report suspicious links and emails and that both their business accounts and any personal accounts they might be accessed on their work computers are extra vigilant during this period. To help avoid and detect malware, make sure that your email protection is up-to-date and that your endpoints are secured.
- Users that combine home and company passwords
It is a bad habit for users to reuse passwords over and over again. They are either naive or negligent of the possibility of hacking one website, posting their password somewhere like pastebin.com, and now boom-attackers have access to all their accounts, including their corporate ones. With a remote workforce, this issue is compounded by workers with far lower security standards using personal computers and networks than their corporate-controlled alternatives, making it easier for attackers to access company data.
Recommendation: If any on-site network and email protection systems are no longer available, network security engineers can double down on training users to recognize phishing attempts and choose powerful, unique passwords, facilitating the use of a password manager. To prevent attackers from gaining access via unsecured devices, they should also enforce client certificates and multi-factor authentication.
ConclusionIn this pandemic scenario, when many global organizations have embraced a remote work culture, they must take appropriate security measures to monitor any potential sophisticated IT threat. Hiring a certified wireless network expert is important. Robust tools to ensure smooth remote access are Privileged Access Control, User Behavior Analytics, Application Gateway Server, and Safe Remote Access. The instruments provide organizations with both resilience and agility.