Small office / home office (SOHO) workers typically perform their own IT tasks, but lack the expertise to maintain strong security. They are inviting targets for hackers because they lack many of the protections that exist in a corporate IT environment.
The hazards of do-it-yourself security have come into sharp relief with millions of Americans now working remotely. According to the 2022 Thales Data Threat Report, 79 percent of organizations are “somewhat” or “very” concerned about the security risks of remote work. Forty percent are not confident that their existing systems provide effective security for remote workers.
The same challenges often hold true in SOHO environments, which often use consumer-grade technology that lacks strong security controls. Researchers with Lumen’s Black Lotus Labs found that hackers are using SOHO routers to infiltrate networks. Many of these devices use default credentials, making them easy to hack.
That’s why it’s critical to develop a layered security approach for small offices and home offices. Here are three key technologies:
Remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools typically involve installing software agents on end-user devices and company servers to continuously gather data about your systems. While this is usually considered a tool for troubleshooting problems, RMM tools also boost security by ensuring that computers, operating systems and applications accessing network resources remain patched and up to date. This significantly improves your chances of avoiding security breaches.
RMM tools can collect data and report on security systems such as firewalls and virus scanners to help you recognize and quickly remediate problems with security resources. Web protection features in a monitoring solution can be used to block inappropriate or malicious websites. Automated patch management can prevent attacks against known vulnerabilities and ensure that systems are better protected.
Secure Remote Access
Identity and access management (IAM) provide a framework for verifying the identities of remote users attempting to access network resources. They integrate a variety of tools such as user provisioning, password management, single sign-on and multifactor authentication (MFA) into a comprehensive platform. MFA is particularly important because it minimizes the risk of weak or compromised passwords by requiring additional means of identification.
MFA is particularly important for SOHO users accessing company resources through virtual private network (VPN) services. Most VPNs require a conventional username / password combination, which can be guessed or stolen. Compromised VPN credentials are valuable to cybercriminals because they can provide broad access to network resources.
Firewalls are among the most important elements of network security, filtering traffic to prevent unauthorized access. However, some are so complex that they are becoming a source of increased exposure. Gartner analysts say up to 99 percent of all firewall breaches are caused by misconfiguration issues rather than any flaws with the technology itself.
With a managed firewall, you offload configuration and policy development to a managed services provider with specific firewall expertise. What’s more, providers often have invested in technologies that allow them to automate firewall configurations, controls management, risk analysis and more. Upon installation and configuration, the provider will handle all administrative tasks such as adding or deleting user accounts, modifying firewall rules and updating configurations. Providers also remotely install patches, bug fixes and software updates as needed.
How IronLogix Can Help
IronLogix understands the challenges that small offices and home offices face, and provides an array of security tools and services to help reduce risk. We also provide a full suite of managed services, including remote monitoring and management. Let us help you bolster your defenses.