On March 13th, the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency ("CISA") issued an alert regarding the increased use of remote work for many businesses in the wake of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Particularly, as more organizations use virtual private networks ("VPN") for telework "more vulnerabilities are being found and targeted by malicious cyber actors."
CISA encourages organizations to review the following recommendations when considering alternate workplace options.
Update VPNs, network infrastructure devices, and devices being used to remote into work environments with the latest software patches and security configurations. See CISA Tips Understanding Patches and Securing Network Infrastructure Devices.
Alert employees to an expected increase in phishing attempts. See CISA Tip Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks.
Ensure IT security personnel are prepared to ramp up the following remote access cybersecurity tasks: log review, attack detection, and incident response and recovery. Per the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-46 v.2, Guide to Enterprise Telework, Remote Access, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Security, these tasks should be documented in the configuration management policy.
Implement MFA on all VPN connections to increase security. If MFA is not implemented, require teleworkers to use strong passwords. (See CISA Tips Choosing and Protecting Passwords and Supplementing Passwords for more information.)
Ensure IT security personnel test VPN limitations to prepare for mass usage and, if possible, implement modifications—such as rate limiting—to prioritize users that will require higher bandwidths.
Contact CISA to report incidents, phishing, malware, and other cybersecurity concerns.