Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

9/18/2020
10:00 AM
PJ Kirner
PJ Kirner
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
50%
50%

Mitigating Cyber-Risk While We're (Still) Working from Home

One click is all it takes for confidential information to land in the wrong hands. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to teach preventative cybersecurity to remote workers.

Over the past few months, we've become very familiar with the many cybersecurity perils posed by a largely (or fully) remote workforce. It's clear that work-from-home (WFH) isn't going away anytime soon — and neither are bad actors.

Related Content:

VPNs: The Cyber Elephant in the Room

Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective

New on The Edge: Next-Gen Firewalls 101: Not Just a Buzzword

But as the fine line between working and living from home becomes increasingly blurred, it's important to step back and recognize that with everything interconnected, one click is all it takes for confidential information to land in the wrong hands.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to teach preventative cybersecurity — in your own home, at the dinner table — and a myriad of zero-trust tools you can leverage to keep yourself and your family cyber smart and secure while we WFH and go to school from home. Like anything else, practice makes perfect — and the same is true for cybersecurity. The better you can understand and practice the cybersecurity fundamentals within your own home, the safer off you and your loved ones will be.

Why Incidental Security Matters
Let's start with the basics. Every network, at home or work, sits behind network address translation (NAT) boxes that allow us to reuse RFC1918 private address spaces all over the world due to the scarcity of IPv4 addresses. NAT, often configured on enterprise firewalls or routers, provides some incidental security. For connections that need to originate from inside the corporate enterprise, it "accidentally" shields organizations from malicious Internet traffic coming in.

At home, most folks use a router provided by their Internet service provider. The home router has a firewall and NAT functionality so your family can safely connect out to your favorite websites, and those websites can send the data you asked for back to you.

However, with most employees now working at home, enterprise-grade firewalls at the edge of corporate networks are no longer protecting them or providing the needed visibility for IT to help keep the corporate users safe. That's where having an endpoint security solution that can provide visibility, segment and limit access between different internal networks and laptop devices can come in handy.

With CISOs, government employees, and business executives sharing home networks with their 15-year-old gamers and TikTok addicts, it's imperative to extend the principles of least privilege to the systems with important data inside the home network. Meaning that even if a bad actor gains access to your kid's network, your laptop and organization's internal assets stay in the clear. When it comes to proactively protecting against cyber threats, segmentation is one of the best ways to ensure that bad actors stay contained when they breach the perimeter. Because, let's be honest, it's bound to happen. And even if you don't click on something, your child might.

Understanding Your Zero-Trust Toolbox
We already touched on segmentation as a zero-trust tool, but there are many other tools you can use at home and at work (when we get back there) to ensure that your devices, networks, and crown jewels stay safe and secure.

According to our new report, 70% of organizations use multifactor authentication (MFA), topping the list of most popular zero-trust tools. It's a straightforward deployment (one you can use on your home devices via apps like Authy or Google Authenticator) and provides a valuable additional layer of security beyond just usernames and passwords. Similarly, 69% of security professionals use single sign-on (SSO) to sign in to their devices, enabling users to sign in once with strong credentials backed by MFA.

Other tools like segmentation can help extend the principles of "least privilege" to the end of your networks and assets, making it harder for bad actors (or well-intentioned kids) to break into and compromise your corporate devices.

Another way to keep cybersecurity top of mind in your home is to hold a "Security 101" lesson over your next family dinner to teach your family how to avoid malicious sites when downloading games, music, popular apps, or the personal information that can be unwittingly shared through social networks if you're not careful about what you share and with whom you connect. Hypervigilance, communication, and effective cybersecurity tools are key when it comes to keeping your family and your crown jewels safe and secure.

All in all, it's important to remember that you don't have to boil the ocean to mitigate cyber-risk in your home — especially with the challenges and tight budgets we face in COVID-19. It's important to be focused on actionable points and specific controls you can use to keep your families and data secure, whenever and wherever possible.

As chief technology officer and founder, PJ is responsible for Illumio's technology vision and platform architecture. PJ has 20 years of experience in engineering, with a focus on addressing the complexities of data centers. Prior to Illumio, PJ was CTO at Cymtec. He also ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-30481
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-10
Valve Steam through 2021-04-10, when a Source engine game is installed, allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary code because of a buffer overflow that occurs for a Steam invite after one click.
CVE-2021-20020
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-10
A command execution vulnerability in SonicWall GMS 9.3 allows a remote unauthenticated attacker to locally escalate privilege to root.
CVE-2021-30480
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-09
Zoom Chat through 2021-04-09 on Windows and macOS allows certain remote authenticated attackers to execute arbitrary code without user interaction. An attacker must be within the same organization, or an external party who has been accepted as a contact. NOTE: this is specific to the Zoom Chat softw...
CVE-2021-21194
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-09
Use after free in screen sharing in Google Chrome prior to 89.0.4389.114 allowed a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2021-21195
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-09
Use after free in V8 in Google Chrome prior to 89.0.4389.114 allowed a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page.