Securing Remote Workers

Pandemic planning: it encompasses everything from continuity of operations planning all the way to how HR handles sick employees. I’ve been through several of these myself after 22 years in this biz, for educational institutions and banks before I joined Perch.

In the beginning, I used to think they were silly exercises for events that were only theoretical (and why would it be any different than disaster recovery planning, right?). Pandemic planning has its own unique flavor when it comes to impact on your organization.

When I was in IT at a K-12 school district, the questions revolved around two main things:

  1. How do we continue to provide quality education to the kids in the event they cannot assemble in the classroom?
  2. How do we provide continuity of instruction delivery in the event large numbers of teachers are ill and cannot teach the kids?

When we tackled this same issue in banking, the questions weren’t much different:

  1. How can we provide equitable technology access for the remote worker without sacrificing security of the infrastructure, endpoint, or application?
  2. How can we continue to deliver financial products to our customers if large numbers of employees are not able to work?

The answer to those things in 2020 is far easier – online learning with standardized lesson plans, cloud services to provide email, file sharing, more robust VPN technologies, and mobile device management solutions. Coupled with the universal availability of mobile smart devices, laptops, Chromebooks, Wi-Fi, etc. along with solid web-based software platforms, it becomes an easier method of delivery that is often used during inclement weather situations as well. Back in the early 2000’s, that wasn’t the case. It’s only been over the last few years that our infrastructures have been able to support the multi-modal engagement with work and education.

Except one caveat - ensuring that the user has the same safety nets available to them outside of the corporate (or school!) networks. These technologies have evolved (DNS/Web Filtering, Cloud Based A/V), but getting good visibility into what your mobile endpoints and cloud services are doing is still a challenge many are facing.

Covering your remote workers

We’ve heard from many of our MSP partners this week who are all in a rush to accommodate their clients who are asking for support in transitioning to a work from home (WFH) environment. Many of our partners are considering how to best accommodate these requests in a secure and efficient manner. In those common scenarios where VPN and corporate access may not always be feasible, Perch can come to the rescue. Gaining access to threat visibility and end user and machine behavior from the Perch SIEM is as easy as deploying the Perch direct to cloud agent.

How things change when you transition to a remote workforce

  1. The way they access their applications changes.
  2. Increased need for visibility across all endpoints (and some new networks).

No longer do you have to rely on endpoints being internal to collect logs from them or feel blinded by a lack of visibility into your cloud deployments. The Perch platform allows insight into the activity of your servers, workstations, and cloud services with no additional hardware to deploy.

Benefits to deploying Perch Cloud SIEM

  • Critical cybersecurity protection that follows your clients wherever they go, even their homes!
  • 24x7 SOC who has your back. Our SOC is there to watch over the activity.
  • Added threat hunting capabilities.
  • Visibility into the behavior of your endpoints, no matter where they connect to the internet.
  • Detect and act on potential security issues like Business Email Compromise (BEC).
  • Actionable insights and SOC monitoring in how your staff and customers use cloud services like Office 365 and GSuite.
  • Additional service integrations for your EDR platform (e.g. Sophos, SentinelOne, CarbonBlack, etc.).
  • Deployment in minutes, not weeks.
  • Easy and predictable monthly bill.

This problem is so pervasive that The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released Alert AA20-073A in response to COVID-19 on March 13th, 2020 to address the challenges of remote workforces and Enterprise VPN. DHS specifically calls out the need for IT organizations to be cognizant about the inability of personnel to perform cybersecurity tasks -

“Organizations may have a limited number of VPN connections, after which point no other employee can telework. With decreased availability, critical business operations may suffer, including IT security personnel’s ability to perform cybersecurity tasks.

Ease your mind on mobility with Perch Cloud SIEM and know you will have visibility on the endpoint and your critical cloud services, even if your employees cannot connect back to your corporate network. To learn more about how Perch can help enable your work from home plans, reach out to us and let’s talk.

Mike Riggs

Mike Riggs
Avian Evangelist
LinkedIn