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5 Ways MSPs Can Protect Client Data During Remote Work

As an MSP, you play a critical role in ensuring that networks keep running to support an effective and productive remote work model.

Freshworks Guest Blogger

September 24, 2020

4 Min Read
Remote work
Freshworks

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way businesses around the world function. Companies have closed down their offices and moved to a remote work model, but the networks need to stay running. As an MSP, you play a critical role in ensuring that that happens.

All of a sudden, remote work is a mandate rather than a luxury. As an MSP provider, this poses a string of new challenges. In addition to working from home themselves, your technicians are also managing many enterprises’ networks–the enterprises that now have employees scattered all over with poor security standards.

Here are five ways in which you can ensure the security of clients’ data.

  1. Securing VPNs

Your clients’ employees were using their office network when they were working out of office. This practice ensured the protection of your clients’ network and data. However, with employees accessing company information from their home networks, your clients’ data is no longer secure. To ensure the security of your clients’ data, you need to make sure their employees are working on the company’s VPN at home at all times. If the client has not set up the VPN yet, doing so must be a high priority. The clients’ VPN will be equipped with the same security tools that are available at the office, ensuring that employees are safe from cybersecurity threats or data breaches.

2. Network segmentation for home networks

Network segmentation is creating multiple individual networks by dividing a single network. It splits the network by grouping areas containing data with similar requirements for compliance standards. Network segmentation simplifies security policies by reducing the scope of compliance. In general, the more a network is segmented, the more secure it becomes. However, avoiding under or over-segmentation is a real challenge. Network segmentation is a widespread practice for company networks. Remote working demands the same network security standards, hence segmenting the home network needs to be considered. Most home networks have a range of network devices, routers and USB connections that attract hackers. Network segmentation for home networks would enable employees to work without putting the company at risk.

3. Remote endpoint incident management 

The pandemic has limited on-site visits to client’s offices for maintenance or network issues. However, managing incidents related to endpoint systems continues to occur.  An on-site visit is unavoidable when there is a hardware failure, but you should be able to access individual laptops remotely. There are many tools on the market that enable technicians to access remote laptops and deploy patches remotely. Integration between an endpoint management solution and an IT service management solution comes in handy to identify the problematic asset and deploy a patch to fix it.

4. Maintain the latest software updates

A software vulnerability is a security loophole or weak link that’s found in a software program or operating system. Many software vendors reveal such vulnerabilities in their earlier versions when they release their latest version. This information enables hackers to attack the devices that have not been updated to the newest version. This loophole can be addressed by regularly updating the software updates. However, the key challenge is to manually watch out for the software update from a vendor and update it with no delay. Even a couple of days of delay updating the latest software gives a wide gap for the hackers to enter. Thanks to the tools that are available on the market today, automatic notifications help ensure that you will never let an update. These tools also allow you to update the software in bulk through a single click. Updating your software and operating systems is critical to keep the doors closed to hackers.

5. Educate on new phishing attempts

We are all going through a pandemic for the first time, and we are still in the phase of getting used to the new ways of working and the new company policies. These hazy times create a vulnerability that hackers might make use of. Calls or emails claiming to come from the IT department should be treated with caution. Exchange of credentials or passwords must be avoided at all costs. MSPs need to provide security training to their clients’ employees, including cyber-hygiene best practices.

Hemalakshmi is a Product Expert with Freshworks. Her responsibility includes educating and helping industry peers and customers on best practices, tips and tricks, quick guides, and solutions around IT Service Management and its various use cases. In her 6+ years of experience in the core SaaS business applications serving as a product expert, Hema has worked with multiple businesses in helping them with their business needs and setting up their service desk solution – Freshservice. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

 

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