Keeping Remote Employees Secure

Today’s workforce operates with an always-on mentality and the expectation to connect instantly from any device and any location. Whether employees are full time remote staff, working from a hotel on a business trip, working at home over the weekend, or down the street at the coffee shop, IT’s ability to keep remote employees secure across an increasing number of devices with different operating systems is a significant security challenge.

In the US, 31% of employees report working away from the office four or five days a week, and 43% say they work remotely at least some of the time. This evolution has many benefits including lower employee costs, improved productivity, better access to talent, and a narrowing of the gender pay gap. Work is increasingly about what you’re doing and less about where you’re going Monday through Friday.

Unfortunately, security technology lags compared to connectivity options. “Remote workers are a known weak link in almost every organization’s security profile, which is why threat actors target them,” says Justin Dolly, CISO of Malwarebytes. “The farther away from the typical corporate network you get, the less security there is protecting the users. There has always been a challenge managing endpoints, especially with the advent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) some years ago.”

The responsibility of remote employee security lies with IT. Expecting the end user to always use a VPN when connecting to the network and keep their machine current with updates is unrealistic. The goal for IT is to reduce their attack surface by keeping patches up to date on software applications, operating systems, browsers, and plugins, consistently and easily.

“Part of the reason [that there are so many attacks] is that we have people that are using their own devices, they’re using corporate devices, and also privacy regulations in the U.S. aren’t as strict as in other countries,” says Mike Osterman, President of Osterman Research. “So there’s a lot of information that’s not as protected as it needs to be, a lot of endpoints that aren’t as protected.

Cloud Native Patching

Patching on premise systems including workstations and servers, while not always simple...see WSUS, has always been straight forward. IT managers could inventory devices and apply patches in an orderly manner. Working behind the firewall meant increased levels of security. Early on premise solution providers helped to identify vulnerabilities and provide patching support, even if it was limited to Windows.

Cloud native patching solutions keep remote employees secure from vulnerabilities and limit the risk associated with configuration mishaps. With a cloud native patching solution, employees can be updated automatically regardless of how the connect to the network. There are no firewall or VPN limitations. As long as the device is online, it can be updated.

Solutions like Automox utilize a cloud-native agent to continually monitor every workstation and server for vulnerabilities, and can apply patches automatically or within your patching workflow. Additionally, all of your endpoints can be seen from a single dashboard. SysAdmins no longer need to manually track patch status of remote devices or worry that certain devices have been left unpatched.

About Automox

Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes the aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.

Cloud-native and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, Mac, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.

Experience modern, cloud-native management today with a 15-day free trial of Automox and start recapturing more than half the time you're currently spending on managing your attack surface. Automox dramatically reduces corporate risk while raising operational efficiency to deliver best-in-class security outcomes, faster and with fewer resources.