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Security Think Tank: Testing to improve remote worker security

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It is clear that the pandemic has fundamentally changed how people live and work, despite claims that employers are urging and, in some cases, forcing employees to return to work. It’s possible that the epidemic did nothing more than quicken the rate of change. Many businesses now had the technology to enable remote work and were aware of the potential advantages, such as higher productivity, higher retention, and lower operating costs. However, in addition to the advantages, remote working has also brought risks to cyber security that may have gone unnoticed due to fast adoption.

Through vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, or dark teaming activities that cover the entire attack surface, including rural workers, it is essential to assess an organization’s security posture. This can substantially reduce cyber risk while raising security awareness and security behavior among all employees, including remote workers.

A security operation center (SOC) cannot be trusted by organizations to spot anomalies and dangers posed by remote workers. SOCs operate on datasets that depict typical traffic and behavior, and any deviations from this can therefore be immediately discovered. It is becoming more difficult for SOCs to distinguish between normal and abnormal behavior because work patterns are now so unique and versatile that there is no clear “new normal.”

An organization can identify and fix vulnerabilities in software, systems, and networks with the aid of security testing, which can also be used to assess distant access. Establishing and maintaining the security of remote workers requires testing every program they use for flaws that could endanger their data, privacy, or day-to-day operations.

Testing can help prevent data breaches by identifying distant access security vulnerabilities, but it also encourages security awareness and best practices among remote workers and the entire business, enhancing security posture.

The significance of security awareness cannot be overstated when it comes to rural workers.

Remote workers will find it appealing to be able to tailor security awareness to concentrate on the most important issues and vulnerabilities for your organization, as well as to show real-world examples based on real discoveries. Security testing will increase awareness of remote working risks, ensure understanding of the need for security policies and procedures, and instruct remote workers on how to take proactive and preventative measures if it is carried out properly and effectively.

Red teaming, which simulates a cyberattack in the real world carried out by an honest hacker team, can be especially useful for companies with large and diverse distant workforces. Dark teaming tests the organization’s entire resilience to cyber attacks as well as its cyber security, detection, and response capabilities.

Red teaming will draw attention to the dangers and vulnerabilities that distant workers encounter when using any device to access the organization’s network, systems, and data. Additionally, it offers a chance to evaluate and enhance the efficacy of current encryption and MFA security measures and policies for rural workers.

Additionally, it can facilitate better communication between the distant worker and the organization’s cybersecurity team. It is incredibly potent to just make sure remote workers are aware of potential risks and who to report any suspicious activity to, but this is frequently not as simple as it seems.

The ever-changing variety of devices, applications, and configurations are just a few of the problems with security testing distant user networks to identify all probable vulnerabilities. Additionally, there may be significant social and legal privacy concerns due to the volume of personal data that user networks may contain, such as economic and health information. Any testing will require cautious and specialized planning, preparation, and execution, as well as user comprehension and consent. Any security testing of a distant user without permission could be subject to laws like the Computer Misuse Act in the UK.

Any penetration test or dark teaming effort must be carried out by experts who uphold the highest professional and ethical standards and are familiar with the particular concerns with resting distant worker security. You are not just allowing them to simulate an attack on your systems and those of your employees, but the work also needs to provide specific, meaningful advice. Additionally, you might need to get in touch with your remote employees. Any social engineering components of the testing must be meticulously and carefully implemented in order to increase security awareness rather than a culture of blame.

The end result must be a network of remote workers who are knowledgeable and empowered to assist you in putting any discoveries into practice and constantly enhancing your security posture going forward.

Working remotely can be just as safe as working from an office if the proper security information, testing, tools, and controls are in place, along with making sure training and information are freely available to end users.

Matthew Boyle

Matthew Boyle is a distinguished Smart City Consultant, renowned for his expertise in IoT (Internet of Things) and cutting-edge urban technology solutions. With a deep understanding of Smart City initiatives, Matthew excels in leveraging IoT innovations to transform urban landscapes into efficient, sustainable, and connected environments. His strategic insights and hands-on experience in urban planning, data analytics, and IoT implementation make him a trusted expert in the field. Matthew Boyle is your go-to consultant for navigating the complex world of Smart Cities, ensuring seamless integration of IoT technologies, and unlocking the potential of data-driven urban solutions. With his guidance, your city can thrive in the digital age, enhancing quality of life and fostering a sustainable future.

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