Benefits of using a VPN and how to protect sensitive data (Secure Telecommuting III)

The corporate network is often accessed via a VPN connection, which many companies have implemented. It is difficult, however, to ensure a secure network connection. Consequently, it is imperative that security measures be taken in order to safeguard the most sensitive data while using VPN for Windows.

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VPN Connections Can Be Difficult

Remote access to the corporate network has been possible via VPN download connections and remote desktop access. Ideally, this connection is made from a corporate laptop, but this is not available to all companies. The fact that VPN connections are made via personal equipment poses a series of difficulties and added challenges for IT departments when it comes to ensuring secure access to the network. 

The following are just a few.

It is difficult to secure the remote or personal equipment of the user. It does not have administrator privileges, so it is not possible to manage the installed software, computer security level, etc. In an ideal world, this connection is made via a corporate laptop, but this option is not available to all companies.

It is difficult to secure the remote control or personal equipment of the user.

Individuals can install an antivirus individually, but a company-managed EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) cannot allow them to control alerts, possible threats, etc. It is possible to improve the security of this remote computer, but the defenses against malware will be lower than those of a corporate computer.

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Apart from working on the computer, another member of the family may use the computer to browse the internet and access websites for leisure, which carries risks.

Cyber threats posed by VPN connections

The attacks have continued during this stage of forced remote labor. Additionally, attackers have taken advantage of the COVID-19 alert state to launch new phishing campaigns and other types of attacks. Our employees can be subject to various types of attacks even though our employees are protected by a VPN connection.

Security measures for connections through VPN

  1. Therefore, the main challenge is to ensure that the connected user and machine are not compromised. The following are some of the measures organizations are taking to achieve this goal:
  2. VPN accounts need to be protected with MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) so we know that the person connecting is indeed the one for whom VPN security measures have been taken and not an attacker.
  3. To minimize the possibility the risk of an attack on the due to best free VPN for Windows servers, patch them to prevent them from being free of known vulnerabilities.
  4. To ensure users can access their computers, but not gain access to other network resources by mistake, a more rigorous review of privileged accounts is required.
  5. Make privileged accounts more thoroughly monitored, to protect users’ computer rights, but prevent them from gaining access to other network resources.
  6. Install post antivirus software, which, although not managed, can increase the security level of the personal computer.
  7. A malicious attacker is hoping to access the most sensitive information that we possess in order to gain advantage in many ways. The threats that it will be published and made accessible to all, the intention to take advantage of it, the blocking of access, and incites the payment of a ransom.
  8. Information on our file servers is accessed by VPN users, but it may also reside on the computers of users who adapted the information for work disconnected from the VPN.

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