The holiday season is a busy time for all of us and full of excitement. Yet as employees are likely to be working from home over their vacation, or from other remote locations such as hotels or even near the pool, there are some key steps that organizations should take to secure their network for remote access:
- Device Patching: Ensure that all devices accessing the corporate network are up-to-date on their security and anti-virus patches. As there will be managed, and, likely, a good deal of unmanaged devices accessing the network, send out email communication to employees ahead of the holidays with a request to update their devices. In addition, if using a network access control solution, set a policy that requires the latest patch updates in granting access. That way, even if a device isn’t updated, it will be blocked access until its posture is updated.
- Take Note of Your Inventory: Take the holiday season as an opportunity to gain a clear understanding of your inventory, namely unmanaged devices that are likely to be used by employees while working remotely. Ask employees to share information on the devices that they use at home to get a better understanding of any potential vulnerabilities, asking employees to patch and update those devices as well. In addition, get an understanding of which managed devices will remain in the office and ensure they are updated.
- Multi-factor Authentication is a Must! Deploy a VPN solution that requires MFA for network and cloud access. MFA ensures that employees are more cognizant when accessing the network. In addition, set the security policies for remote VPN access to reflect those of your network. Lastly, let employees know that network security will be on high alert in your holiday message (it could be the same message sent about patch updates).
- Automate Where Possible: Network security admins are no different in that they want to enjoy time with their families over the holidays, so automate security actions where possible. By deploying a network access control solution that automates network security actions based on policy, security admins can ensure that their networks are secure, without ever stepping foot into the office. And, as mentioned above, if admins communicate with employees regarding heightened security and patch updates, it’s unlikely that they will receive frantic IT calls over the break. In a word – network security admins that want to enjoy their holiday break should automate, automate, automate!
Of course, the most important tip of them all is – enjoy the holiday season by keeping network access secure and vulnerability free! With Portnox’s network access control solutions you can control access from anywhere to control exposure to digital business risks, wherever and whenever they may arise.
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