Tips for Securing and Enabling Large Groups of Remote Workers

Scaling security to address the work-from-anywhere model is a top priority. But that doesn’t mean you should start from scratch. Here’s how to adapt and optimize your existing strategy.

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In response to current global events, many companies are implementing work from home plans to help keep employees and others around them safe. Situations like the one we’re facing today require IT organizations to support a surging number of employees working from home.

Here are some tips to secure and enable your remote workers.

1) Rely on your organizations’ emergency preparedness or business continuity plans.

Now is not the time to re-invent the wheel. Use this opportunity to validate work-from-home security and capacity assumptions.

  • Understand workflows by department to better determine which applications those groups of employees need to get their jobs done.
  • Implement a rolling work-from-home policy for a limited number of employees or locations at a time in order to test access by department or work type.
  • Think through your communication strategy. Will you communicate at the department level? Regional or office level? How will you communicate the most important updates to all employees?

2) Test your security plans for both access and capacity.

The key here is to think through how well your existing security strategy scales to accommodate a large increase in remote workers.

  • Are you factoring in requirements for the on-premises, cloud applications, and hybrid environments your employees need to do their jobs?
  • Does your single-sign-on platform incorporate appropriate levels of security? If not, what gaps need to be addressed?
  • On the cloud application front: Do the cloud applications your employees use have appropriate levels of elasticity? Could you easily scale to hundreds or even thousands of users?

3) Test your VPN for both security and capacity.

A strong VPN strategy is a foundational piece of keeping people and data secure. This is even more true as organizations plan to accommodate large groups of remote workers.

  • Understand the total number of remote workers you need to support and plan a VPN capacity of 2X that number to ensure consistent operations.
  • Test for security and capacity at the department level. Which applications do marketers need to use compared to developers, finance, and accounting? As mentioned previously, a rolling work-from-home program can help you test at this level.
  • Create separate private, performance-focused VPN connections for dedicated groups of employees to accommodate critical work. For example, create a specific VPN for accounting team members to access during end-of-quarter activities. Or create a specific VPN for developers as they build key feature enhancements for internal core business applications.

Emergencies happen. That’s why organizations create business continuity plans in the first place. Use this opportunity to validate and scale work-from-home assumptions. Make sure your VPN and broader security strategy cover all the applications your workforce needs to do their jobs—no matter where those applications reside. Following these tips can go a long way to ensuring your organization’s security without sacrificing employee productivity.

It’s up to you to scale your security strategy to protect people and data wherever work happens. And Forcepoint is here to help. Visit us to learn more about what you can do now to protect your remote work environment.


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