Establishing a Cybersafe Remote Workplace With Business Computers

Managing application patches is an Australian Cyber Security Centre recommended strategy for minimising cyber-attacks.

Cybersafe Remote Workplace with Business Computers

With our Cybersecurity Management System, you can establish your cybersafe remote workplace today using your own business devices.

This means minimizing your company downtime during the transition from office to home whilst protecting your employees and business data.

For businesses where employees have access to company-owned computers/laptops (including newly purchased computers), the ease of physical transition from the office to home is relatively simple. However, remote workplace cybersecurity requirements can be overlooked.

Remote working increases the risk of cyberattacks (1) and can cause businesses significant extortion costs and downtime.

Our system can support you to establish a cybersafe remote workplace in a matter of hours. This means your team can begin undertaking remote work in a cybersafe environment immediately if required.

Our team can:

• Implement a robust cybersafe remote working system that meets the Australian Government’s Australian Cyber Security Centres (ACSC) Essential 8 recommendations to ensure your employees, business data and confidential files are secure
• Review your inhouse computer security (i.e. windows domain-based) as this may no longer be active when transitioning to a complete remove workplace
• Ensure appropriate backup procedures are in place to recover local data that is lost due to either cyber-attacks or human error
•Schedule updates for your systems as there may be a lack of patch management without Windows update server/licenses
• Consider licensing costs if computers are set up with perpetual licenses or subscription licenses for regularly used programs (such as the Microsoft Office Suite)
• Recommend appropriate internet speed to ensure all employees are working from locations that have sufficient internet connection speed
• Establish cloud-based phone systems so you can continue to communicate with your clients and employees

As each business has different requirements, we recommend getting in touch with us today so we can solve your remote workplace needs. Or, review our Cybersecurity Management System and Cybersafe Remote Workplace Solutions.

If your employees don’t have access to business computers, see our Cybersafe Remote Workplace: Private Computers Solutions.

Considerations for cybersafe remote working with business computers

There are many businesses where employees have access to business owned laptops that are used regularly either in the workplace or during travel. For these businesses, many of the requirements to establish a remote working environment are already addressed; including remote access to emails, cloud-based communications (such as skype or zoom), and cloud-based networks and data storage.
However, in addition to establishing these systems and networks, businesses also need to ensure that all cybersecurity systems are adequate to protect both the employee and the company. The Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) has highlighted there is an increased risk of cyber-attacks for Australian businesses due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 

“Cybersecurity is essential when preparing for COVID-19. As more staff may work from home, and the use of remote access technology increases, adversaries may attempt to take advantage. ASD’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) encourages Australians to remain vigilant and ensure sound cybersecurity practices.”

Our Cybersecurity Management System are built to be compliant with the ACSC Essential 8 recommendations; ensuring that businesses are protected, no matter where employees work from. Implementing an ACSC Essential 8 package means your data and employees will be protected whilst in the office, whilst travelling, or whilst working from remote locations. To comply with the Government recommendations, our packages include:

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APPLICATION CONTROL

Generating an index of approved applications which can run in trusted locations on a computer network, including on remote business owned computers.

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PATCHING APPLICATIONS

Scheduling and installing patches to fix identified vulnerabilities in software applications across all devices.

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CONFIGURE MICROSOT OFFICE MACRO SETTINGS

Preventing malicious macros (often found in MS Excel or Word files) installing and running on your computer system.

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USER APPLICATION HARDENING

Deciding what certain applications/programs (such as Adobe Flash and Java) are allowed to do on a system or network.

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RESTRICT ADMINISTRATION PRIVILEGES

Reducing the number of people who have overarching rights to install programs, run macros and enable applications, reduces the risk that a hacker can access the system.

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PATCH OPERATING SYSTEMS

Regular and scheduled updates of all operating systems will fix known vulnerabilities.

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MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

Establishing simple multiple sign-in requirements for users to log in to devices and programs.

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DAILY BACKUPS

Providing an ‘if all else fails’ solution for recovering stolen, hacked, damaged or lost data, which is particularly important for employees creating data locally on remote computers.

Considerations for cybersafe remote working with business computers

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing business leaders to make rapid decisions regarding remote workplaces. Even businesses that can provide laptops/computers to workers need a clear plan of action to ensure minimal operational downtime. Therefore, we have pulled together a quick checklist to support your office to home transition.

1. Make proactive office closure decisions: decide at what point you will close your office voluntarily so all employees can begin to prepare to work from home.
2. Allocate assets: build an asset register to ensure all employees have devices allocated to them to enable remote working. This includes laptops, desktop computers, screens, mobile phones and printers if required.
3. Establish your cybersecurity plan: setting up your cybersecurity management system prior to your office closure will aid in the rapid transition of forced remote working if required.
4. Prepare your cybersafe remote working processes: ensure you have prepared clear instructions for your employees regarding how to access networks, how to abide by cybersafe principles and how to alert the company if something goes wrong.
5. Check all employees have adequate internet access: we can provide recommendations on appropriate connection speeds if required.
6. Decide on any remote working reimbursements: if employees need to upgrade their internet or phone services, will the company cover these costs?
7. Establish cloud-based communication channels: there are plenty of online communications channels such as skype and zoom which employees can use to communicate effectively. Ensure all employees are set up before office closures.
8. Set up cloud-based phone systems: cloud-based phone systems are a cost-effective and efficient way of keeping your landline number and still being able to communicate with your customers when working remotely. Find out more about our services here.
9. Prepare employee communications: the earlier you communicate your plans to employees the better. Employees may be anxious about the times ahead, so confirming that you have a remote working plan in place will ease their concerns.
10. Prepare customer communications: be clear with your customers regarding how they can still contact you whilst you are working remotely. Explain what this means for them and how you will continue to deliver your services.