As the COVID-19 Pandemic Grows Securing the Mobile Workforce Becomes Critical

16

MARCH 2020

By: Chris Swan

The unprecedented growth of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has caught government, the healthcare industry, and enterprises by surprise, and their IT teams are scrambling to enable employees to work from home. Many of the largest government agencies and corporations are halting travel to meetings and events and asking many employees to work from home to prevent the unintentional spread of the highly contagious virus.

With the entire country of Italy shut down, and dozens of announcements nearly every hour about cities, regions, public venues, and events being closed and canceled it is imperative that professionals responsible for the integrity of data and systems put in place measures to ensure only authorized individuals can access their most critical information systems and data.

Even more critical, the real-time communications platforms being used to keep teams connected and keep projects moving are themselves at risk of unavailability or attacks by adversaries when agencies and corporations are vulnerable on the open internet.

For example, earlier this month, a spoofing attack by bad actors pretending to be the World Health Organization (WHO) spread as fast as the virus itself, with emails penetrating corporate email networks. This attack impersonates the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to trick victims to install “Formbook” (information-stealing malware) on their machines. The malicious messages appear as if they are sent by WHO, with updates regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, which makes the phishing messages look legitimate.

While it is difficult for any of us to believe, there are bad actors who try to leverage a global health pandemic to attack systems and steal data or disable those systems.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Firewalls would be the traditional method of protecting mobile or work from home employees, but there is plenty of evidence this approach is failing to prevent network intrusion and penetration. In addition, employees often become frustrated with VPN performance and abandon them, which puts corporate data and assets at extreme risk on the public internet.

This pandemic is not the first and won’t be the last and is not the only disaster companies will face.

This is a good time to assess enabling mobile workers with modern secure access for all their devices. Many organizations are now facing the issue of whether they can deploy remote access solutions at scale before a geographic area gets locked down.

Some organizations may be able to move faster by relying on a managed service provider (MSP) who they have contracted with for disaster recovery services, but even that is a challenge given the unprecedented scope and growth of this global crisis.

Will COVID-19 transform the way IT is managed and secured? Is this a wake-up call requiring decision-makers to act now to keep their businesses and organizations working, while also making plans to be able to adapt immediately when the next crisis hits?

We’ve had a number of partner and client inquiries regarding work from home employees who need ultra-secure connections over the internet and LTE to continue their work efforts. This is what Dispersive does better than anyone else in the industry – and we stand ready to support our clients to rapidly and simply get their employees connected and secure.

Now would be a good time to put this program in place to ensure your team is ready and able to continue their operations – and protect your data in motion assets. And Dispersive improves the speed and performance of their work from home experience (typically 2-10X performance over VPNs), so they are more likely to embrace the solution – especially when working from home!

Dispersive™ Virtual Networks is a patented, multi-path, military-grade secure virtual networking solution. Our approach comprises software components that collaborate and route traffic to significantly enhance network security, reliability, and performance among all your devices, including laptops, tablets, mobile, and IoT.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more or ask for assistance – we stand ready to help you and your teams stay productive and secure!

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