How to Protect Your Business During a Global Health Crisis

While governments and healthcare organizations work to contain and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), businesses are working to keep employees safe and operations running. Consider these best practices when challenged by disaster or unforeseen circumstances.

Expand your remote workforce, securely

Organizations, businesses and enterprises are protecting their workforce and allowing employees to work remotely. Increasingly, this is becoming a mandated policy and potentially the sign of a new remote future.

Precautions like these, however, are causing unexpected increases in mobile and ‘work-from-home’ employees; many organizations don’t have enough virtual private network (VPN) licenses to accommodate the increase of users. This is a serious risk as employees will either not have access to business resources or, worse, they will do so via non-secure connections.

For this reason, security-conscious organizations should have scalable secure mobile or remote access solution in place (e.g., VPN) that can accommodate an influx of users (and the respective license requirements).

Review your business continuity plan

Disaster strikes in all forms. Whether malicious cyberattacks, inclement weather, power outages or pandemic, organizations should have built-in scenarios that help ensure business continuity in the face of uncertainty.

Organizations, SMBs and enterprises are encouraged to review their business continuity plans on a yearly basis. This should account for everything for communication channels, leadership, infrastructure, technology and more. Reference SonicWall’s ‘5 Core Practices to Ensure Business Continuity” as a helpful primer.

Defend against fear-based cyberattacks

Cybercriminals know how to successfully capitalize on trends, fears and human behavior. And the coronavirus outbreak is a prime opportunity for them to launch fear-based phishing campaigns, mobile malware, social-engineering attacks and more.

A range of phishing attacks were launched to take advantage of coronavirus fears, including phishing emails appearing to come from the World Health Organization. Organizations should ensure they have strong secure email security in place to mitigate aggressive phishing attacks.

In cases where phishing links are clicked by employees, staff, partners and contractors, cloud application security, Office 365 security and advanced endpoint protection solutions are required to mitigate malware from compromising networks or stealing credentials.

Protect your many endpoints

The new normal has waves of remote employees roaming outside the safety of the network perimeter. In some cases, this is a new experience and they may behave in the same manner as if they were protected by network security controls.

Organizations need to be prepared for an influx of attacks impacting endpoints. A single employee — either working remotely or bored from mandated quarantine — could click a phishing link that could lock data via ransomware, steal credentials or gain access to the corporate network.

A sound security strategy for remote workforces always includes proactive endpoint protection (or next-generation antivirus) that mitigates attacks before, during and after they execute. More advanced approaches include automated rollback to return infected Windows PCs to a previously clean state.


Work-from-Home VPN Solutions for Remote Workforces

To help organizations cost-effectively implement VPN technology for their rapidly expanding work-from-home employees, SonicWall is making its remote access products and services available to both new and existing customers via deeply discounted rates. We’re also bundling critical security solutions for new enterprise and SMB customers.

This special offer provides free Secure Mobile Access (SMA) virtual appliances sized for enterprises and SMBs, and also includes aggressive discounts on Cloud App Security and Capture Client endpoint protection when paired with SMA.

These packages were bundled to include everything needed to protect employees outside the network:

  • Free Secure Mobile Access (SMA) virtual appliance
  • Aggressive discounts on Capture Client endpoint protection
  • Aggressive discounts on Cloud App Security
  • Aggressive discounts on support contracts and Remote Implementation Services when you bundle a virtual appliance
  • New 30- and 60-day VPN spike licenses for existing SMA 100 and 1000 series customers

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Agasthiamani Sankaran
Product Manager | SonicWall
Agasthiamani Sankaran oversees SonicWall’s Secure Mobile Access (SMA) and Web Application Firewall (WAF) products. Prior to this position, Sankaran held QA lead roles at SonicWall, Juniper and HCL Cisco Offshore Development Center. He has 15-plus years of experience in the technology space across CDN, WAN optimization, adaptive streaming and enterprise network security.
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