In light of the current global situation, technology is replacing a number of real-life activities to help us through the unprecedented measures that have been put in place in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

As those transform their kitchens, bedrooms and spare rooms into their usual workplace office spaces, organizations need to invest in collaboration tools to enable remote workers to do their jobs securely. The “new normal” undeniably brings varying levels of risk, perhaps more so than ever before in terms of the possibility for business email compromise, data thefts and scams. Maintaining security is paramount as habits change and stay-at-home initiatives—intended to slow down the spread of the virus—continue across the globe.

Changing Habits

Using the home network brings new vulnerabilities, which are prime targets for attackers, as connecting to a new location means devices do not have a support system like a corporate business network would. Not only this, workers are under intense pressure to get the job done with added distractions, such as trying to manage children, and will take shortcuts to get as much done in less time. In some cases, a home PC may be used with a work USB, and this can lead to information hacking. As more time goes on, attackers are getting smarter. The number one priority for organizations should be to allow workers to continue working as they normally would—efficiently, safely and securely.

Stepping Up Protection

Devices are now under more threat than ever, so protection needs to be stepped up too. A way this can be done is by increasing training for remote workers, which in turn enables user awareness. Having the knowledge to question browser pop-ups could be make-or-break for an organization. More so, backups are especially important for remote workers, so another first priority for organizations is to make sure this happens, so people can continue to do their job from home safely, for however long that may be.

 

Secure Devices for All

Fortunately, Trusted Computing Group (TCG) members are continuously working hard to mitigate the security risks that go along with the “new normal” that has emerged out of the pandemic. As a result, its members have already made significant progress on securing these devices, from the inside.

But, as many western countries have passed the peak of this pandemic, organizations are now seeking tightly regulated conditions and a realistic solution for the long term. From the perspective of the Japan Regional Forum (JRF), a standard development Working Group, Trusted Comping Group specifications are needed to collaborate with government guidelines for a better-connected future

Some of the recommendations from this perspective include using reliable and safer authentication to protect government data, such as strong passwords and multi-factor authentication. With a wide range of security options to offer, TCG provides the building blocks to create secure systems. The second step would be to implement Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) for device provision that will allow for a trusted relationship between interconnected devices. TCG-protected devices provide hardware-based, embedded security subsystems based on TPM chips, which create reliable protections against these issues and enable truly cost-effective implementation.

 

One Final Message

Once the IT is set up and works well for the home office, and keeps your organization's data safe, you may be tempted to put a tick next to “cybersecurity” on your to-do list. It's important to be aware of the potential risks every day, checking that your devices are up to date, your antivirus is reporting everything green and your backups are current. These steps, along with TPM-protected devices, will help prepare devices for a challenge of a lifetime.

Contributors:
  • Steve Hanna