So here we are, still living and working under the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, some estimates say social distancing may not end until August in order to prevent the worst of the virus’ damage. Thus, remote workers will remain the norm for quite some time.
If this is true (and it certainly seems likely), then you need security monitoring for your remote workforce. But what kinds of security monitoring challenges can you anticipate with your remote workforces?
Here’s what to prepare for and work to prevent:
Security Monitoring Challenges for Remote Workforces
It all comes back to email, in the end. Email remains the major channel for malware and direct attacks alike. The popularity of phishing attacks, and their staggering success rate, makes this evident. If anything, phishing attacks continue to grow in both sophistication and in devastating effectiveness. In fact, phishing attacks can impersonate high-ranking executives, IT team members, and third-party contractors with little effort. One of the major security monitoring challenges for remote workforces involves filtering malicious emails containing phishing attacks.
Alternatively, hackers could try to attack the email itself. Hackers could use authentication attacks like credential stuffing or password cracking to break into the email and obtain sensitive information.
Unpatched and legacy computers, whether corporate-issued or personally-owned, prove ideal targets for hackers of all calibers. Leaving an endpoint unpatched basically allows hackers free reign within your network and to all the databases therein.
Why? Patches contain essential threat intelligence and prevention tools for the latest malware and other security issues. Therefore, unless your computers are up-to-date hackers could easily take advantage of these systems. In handling your security monitoring challenges, your business must evaluate whether remote workforces are patching their work devices.
Unsecured Home Wi-Fi Connections
Most enterprises, with perhaps some exceptions, can call upon a vast array of monitoring and security tools. For example, it can call upon on-premises firewalls, spam filters, or SIEM solutions.
Remote workforces don’t benefit from the same layers of cybersecurity; the further workers operate from the core network or IT infrastructure, the less security they enjoy. Wi-Fi security, in particular, represents a challenge to IT security efforts. Unsecured home Wi-Fi networks can allow external actors to intercept or interfere with secure communications.
While this may pose security monitoring challenges for remote workforces’ personal data, it can still pose a threat. Therefore, your enterprise needs security monitoring tools that do not rely on network connectivity to function properly.
For example, SIEM solutions provide user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA). This establishes a baseline of acceptable behaviors for all users. If the user fails to meet this baseline, it triggers alerts and remediation efforts.
Also, your enterprise should consider finding a secure and trusted virtual private network (VPN). This enables your remote workers to enjoy the same level of encryption as they would in an on-premises Wi-Fi connection.
How to Learn More
If your enterprise struggles with the security monitoring challenges for your remote workforces, check out our SIEM Buyer’s Guide. This free resource details key providers and capabilities.
Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
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