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Security risks caused by the return to the office

As the pandemic hit every business in the world underwent a shift to remote work for much of 2020. As for the future; 2021 & beyond, we will see a flexible hybrid model, but hey I'm sure you already knew that anyway because everyman and his dog are telling you the same message.

We will see many businesses return to socially distanced on-site operations with employees rotating into the office a couple of days a week. But as you plan for a future return to the office, how do you know what’s been happening on employees’ private networks while they work from home?

The big question is what is your workforce bringing back to the corporate or campus network?

2021 will force us to account for the security risks in this hybrid work model.

In a recent report I read there were a few key and very helpful findings, so I thought I would share them with you.

  • Organisations lack visibility into what is happening to work devices on home networks, which they previously had on the office network.

  • The VPN is considered the primary security and visibility tool for remote employees.

  • Many organisations have ransomware recovery plans, but would be willing to pay attackers in a worst-case scenario.

  • Pre-emptive Zero Trust controls to prevent attackers or ransomware from moving laterally are not fully embraced to stop inevitable attacks.

  • Credential dumping, a prominent attacker technique, is not yet a concern for many enterprises, for better or worse.

The last 12 months have been like no other in the history of IT.

Many employees will continue to work remotely full or part-time in 2021, we should start to see a return to business travel, with only a VPN and endpoint security protecting their device and without the control and visibility of the enterprise security stack.

As in years gone by, computers will remain at risk on home networks, shared with other laptops, users, and devices. Workers will then connect to the VPN or head into the office, allowing for a threat to potentially move laterally from an infected laptop on a home network to other laptops, servers, and workloads on the corporate network.

It is important to plan for the entire attack life cycle and one of the simplest ways to do that is to segment resources to stop lateral movement between both endpoints and host workloads.

Many of the new cybersecurity frameworks around the world like Zero Trust, NIST and NIS-D all require some segmentation of critical data and infrastructure. Being able to do this simply and at scale is going to be a focus for many in 2021.

Simoda are focused on delivering a stable security portfolio that works for the modern workplace and one that needs to deliver for every environment including endpoints, data centre and cloud workloads.

If you want to discuss the protection of your business get in touch with one of our Technology 1st BDM's today and let us help you protect your critical business assets.

Thanks for reading, Team Simoda

0114 553 3500

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