3 Overlooked Security Concerns with a Hybrid Workforce

When it comes to the security of a distributed workforce, we’re not only talking about employees working from home, we’re talking about employees working from anywhere. The distinction opens up new concerns over network security, maintaining compliance, and avoiding data exposure. To lock down a distributed workforce, businesses need to recognize the risks and respond to them with airtight security measures. We’ll start with the simplest and probably least mentioned.

1.) Eyes

How do you know, much less control, if someone is watching over the shoulder of an authorized user? Or, if an authorized user decides to copy, download, screen share, or take a photo of your data? It’s the simplest of all violations, yet the results can be just as damning as any complex hack.

Businesses are no longer able to avoid protecting against these possibilities as they become even more likely with increasing numbers of workers logging on from public, communal spaces. Many businesses simply don’t know how to address these issues, so they may be avoided altogether. As a result, many clients may not feel comfortable with remote review.

The only way to avoid situations like this would be to block users’ ability to copy, download, screen share, etc. That can be somewhat easily accomplished, but the more difficult task would be to add a recognition feature that could detect cameras and bystanders, then blur or shut down user screens. There is software out there that can handle things like this and it will likely become more popular as companies adjust to WFA.

2.) Access

How do you really know if the person logging on is an authorized user? And if they are, are they doing what they should be?

The only way to truly know the right person is logging on would be to use biometric verification. Multi-factor authentication with facial recognition on an authorized computer during authorized times would guarantee the user is who they say they are and that they’re doing what they should. Biometric verification isn’t a standard feature on most setups but just like screen recognition, can be handled with third-party software.

3.) Location

Traditional controls that regulated physical environments in the past must be replicated in the virtual world, which includes the controls regarding data leaving—or being transmitted—outside the security of the network.

Data needs to be restricted to its secure network, which could be done by placing users in a private session on a virtual machine with IP restrictions. And, as stated previously, it would be best to limit what the user is capable of in a local session, including what applications are accessible and what sharing/copying functions can be utilized.

As document review teams adapt to more flexible working arrangements, increased awareness about data privacy and security is more important than ever. Cyber attacks will only increase in frequency and complexity, so cybersecurity has to become smarter to provide the necessary protection. If you’re interested in learning how to implement the techniques listed above to secure remote employees, contact us about our user levels featuring biometric verification, virtual privacy screens, IP white/blacklisting, and more.

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