October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and this year’s theme, “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart,” reminds us that keeping your organizational data secure is the responsibility of the entire organization, not just your corporate IT.
2020 has introduced a lot of challenges in work and life, to say the least. In the workplace, corporate IT has been at the epicenter of making sure organizations stay productive while keeping their employees safe and working efficiently from home. At the start of the year, it appeared that the remote working situation might last for a few months, then it shifted to the end of the year. Since then, many larger organizations announced they’d be happy to allow and accommodate employees to work from home permanently.
What does this mean for IT Ops and patch management? It depends.
Many organizations may have already made the necessary transition to better patching and endpoint hardening solutions that can accommodate remote endpoint patching with ease and efficiency. Others, maybe not. The reality is that some organizations may have been biding their time before making a significant shift to a new endpoint management solution, but now the writing's on the wall. Remote work is here to stay, and it’s time for corporate IT to consider the alternatives that will meet their endpoint management needs for the future, not yesterday.
In a previous blog, we discussed what it takes to keep a remote workforce secure. In the spirit of cybersecurity awareness, we’d like to revisit some of the best practices we recommend.
Cybersecurity checklist for remote workers
Securing the remote workforce requires a special emphasis on following cyber hygiene basics and patch management best practices. Remote devices are often some of the most vulnerable, especially during a time when so many organizations have had to rapidly change how they do business.
Here’s a quick list of what to consider to keep your remote endpoints secure:
Inventory of all systems
Inventorying all devices and software is a critical element of cyber hygiene and patch management best practices, and it is even more important for remote workers. Having a living record of all devices and software being used remotely is essential to ensuring endpoints are secured properly.
Ensure remote employees can identify phishing emails and understand the basic elements of cybersecurity, such as password protection.
Recent breaches show that attackers are leveraging the Zerologon vulnerability and phishing emails to gain initial entry into a corporate network, which resulted in complete encryption across the victim’s network in just five hours.
Remote employees should follow the same or stronger password protocols as in-house staff.
With Automox, you have the flexibility to use a custom Worklet to set password policies across all managed endpoints – no matter the location or domain. Using custom groups, Automox can enforce stronger password requirements based on location.
Track software installs
All new installs should be done correctly and inventoried appropriately. Remote workers may have additional third-party software on their devices that needs to be accounted for and updated regularly.
Having full visibility over the patch status of remote endpoints strengthens overall cybersecurity efforts. Modern tools make it possible for organizations to know which devices have received critical security updates and see what still needs remediation. This enables IT staff to resolve vulnerabilities faster and more efficiently.
Many organizations struggle with having to manage updates for multiple operating systems because they must use different tools to manage the varying devices. Consider an OS patching solution that allows cross-platform patch management from a single dashboard view.
Regular OS and third party patching
All endpoints need to be patched regularly in order to mitigate cyber vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of attack. Patching security vulnerabilities minimizes the attack surface and reduces the likelihood of an endpoint being compromised by a malicious actor.
Research suggests that staying ahead of adversaries means remediating critical vulnerabilities within 72 hours, and zero-day vulnerabilities within 24 hours. Can you harden your endpoints faster than adversaries can exploit them?
Cloud-based automated tools can help organizations streamline the process of patching remote devices. Automating the patching process helps ensure overall cybersecurity efficiency, giving users the option to set patching schedules tailored to fit their needs.
With automated patching, organizations can ensure that security updates are getting deployed in a timely manner and without the hassle that comes with manual patching. Cloud-native platforms like Automox can be installed on virtually any device and simplifies the process of deploying security updates to remote endpoints.
In honor of cybersecurity awareness and Halloween, join us for an entertaining webinar on Friday, October 30! What better way to raise awareness around cybersecurity than to hear real-life horror stories that remind us of the IT dangers lurking out there? Register today.
About Automox Automated Patch Management
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, macOS, 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 patch 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.