Remote, distributed workforces are becoming more prevalent, and with that also comes increased security risks, especially as employees use personal devices for corporate data activities.
Additional threats can occur if your organization doesn’t have the proper tools and restrictions in place. This is especially important as more compliance standards are added, data becomes more expansive, and ransomware and phishing attacks are on the rise.
As noted in Choose Your Own FortiAdventure, a recent webinar co-hosted by Fortinet and LincolnIT, “63 percent of businesses with 500 or fewer employees don’t take basic security precautions. Further, 60 percent of businesses who then suffer from a cyber attack close within six months.”
Below we’ll outline some of the precautions and solutions your organization can implement to mitigate these risks before they occur.
Even as new regulatory and cyber compliance measures are implemented at a steady pace with stricter penalties, most organizations still don't demonstrate an active security plan.
Examples include the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for credit card transitions and Sarbanes-Oxley (SoX) for the financial services industry. There are also regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), that affect multiple industries, including healthcare, education, insurance, government entities, and more.
Achieving compliance means proactively strengthening your security plan, which costs less than recovering from a breach, ransomware attack, or operational outage.
Ransomware & Phishing Attacks
According to Fortinet’s Technical Account Manager Michael Weier, “[we’ve seen] a 72 percent increase in ransomware attacks during the last year.”
These attacks are usually presented as document-embedded malicious scripts, “drive-by” downloads, PDFs, or ransomware that is delivered through phishing scams resembling legitimate emails, text messages, or other communications.
'Work From Anywhere' Arrangements
Weier also mentioned how the way we work and communicate has changed with “60 percent of workers now requiring a remote environment some or all of the time, while 80 percent said they wouldn’t work for an organization that didn’t have a flexible policy.”
New threats include a remote worker using an unreliable Internet connection or public Wi-Fi that could easily be hacked. Without effective safeguards to detect, block, and analyze wireless intrusion, the employee could be open to network vulnerabilities, sensitive applications, and unprotected data.
Below we'll discuss some of the features provided by Fortinet’s network solutions—all of which can address the previously mentioned security risks.
This secure email gateway provides built-in anti-virus, sandboxing, and content disarm and reconstruction to “clean” infected emails and attachments without losing important data and assets.
Protecting business-critical web applications from attacks is FortiWeb’s main component. Using known models, it adds machine learning to emulate and maintain a model of regular user behavior without otherwise time-consuming manual learning.
Built on intelligent threat protection and AI-powered automation, FortiGate can block calls to known and new malicious websites leading to data leak targets. This also stops leaks before they become a larger network problem.
As an integrated security architecture, FortiAnalyzer SOC facilitates analytics and automation to address and improve security fabric reporting, analytics, and automation for improved detection and response measures.
Providing advanced, real-time threat protection for endpoints prior—and after—a malicious attack, FortiEDR lowers malware infection, detects potential threats, and provides automation and remediation measures.
Coordinating with FortiGate and FortiAnalyzer, this rapidly quarantines any compromised hosts before they can infect other areas of the network. It also performs protective vulnerability scans and software inventories to minimize further security “holes.”
Designed for remote applications, these are controlled by the corporate FortiGate. They can also be taken off-site for secure virtual private network (VPN) connections and wireless intrusion protection, regardless of the employee’s location.
Acting on compromised or infected clients at the port level, FortiSwitch helps curb attacks before they spread to other network endpoints. Single-pane managed from within FortiGate, FortiSwitch can be easily deployed.
Security & Safety You Can Count On
If you’re concerned about your organization’s remote work policies and want to ensure your products and services are compliant and protected, let us know how we can help through our vendor partnership with reputable manufacturers, such as Fortinet.
Check out our YouTube channel to view Fortinet’s session on remote work security as part of our recent Sip & Secure Webinar Series.