How to Maintain Security When Employees Work Remotely on Windows 10 Devices

remote working security windows 10
Work Remotely on Windows 10 Devices

Even before remote working became a prerequisite, location independence and flexible working was in the limelight, globally. Today, facilitating remote working has become a dire need of the hour. Apart from the productivity monitoring of employees, what holds back organizations from offering remote working opportunities to their workforce is the security concern. Every business process is bundled with a large amount of corporate data that needs to be secure at all times. A security breach to the corporate data can lead to business loss, breach of several compliance regulations and also expose customer data. 

With more than 70%¹ of the desktop market share, Windows 10 devices are the most preferred choice of devices for remote working. Securing corporate data on Windows 10 devices when employees work remotely, is the challenge organizations’ IT teams face. As organizations struggle to strike the right balance between security and remote working, a mobile device management solution comes across as the most comprehensive solution. Scalefusion Windows 10 MDM solution enables the IT teams to provision remote working while ensuring the security of corporate devices and data.

Let us see how to maintain security when employees work remotely on Windows 10 devices.

1. Create Strong Usage Policies

When it comes to creating data security and device usage policies while remote working, most organizations are unprepared. They might have ‘remote working’ policies driven by the HR teams to ensure remote working productivity. But organizations often are not up-to-date with the policymaking around data and device security outside of the traditional office premises. 

According to a study², 26% of IT professionals who participated in the survey said that their organization did not have a policy for ensuring information security while remote working. 

Scalefusion Windows 10 MDM makes police creation and enforcement extremely simple. These usage policies can be pushed on the company-owned devices remotely without manually configuring each device and they are applied when the device is next connected to the network. For new devices, these policies are enforced from the first power-up.

Using Scalefusion MDM Windows 10 Device Profiles, you can create strong policies to maintain the security of corporate data. To prevent malware installation, you can block unauthorized app download, block untrusted websites and prevent access to malicious sites. You can also set policies to prevent device connection via USB and Bluetooth.

To ensure constant monitoring, you can set and schedule a security check of the devices at frequent intervals and immediately detect security breach attempts if any. 

2. Enforce Passwords

Access control is one of the most critical security features that need to be in place, especially when the employees are working from home. To prevent unauthorized access to the Windows10 devices and the data lying on it, enforce a strong passcode policy using Scalefusion MDM. Set the passcode complexity and also schedule a frequent password change to ensure that the employees change passwords on a regular basis.

The strong passwords are only useful when the Windows 10 device screen is locked. Outside a traditional office environment, you cannot possibly enforce device screen locking when not in use. To combat this security challenge, enforce idle time and display time-out settings when the display is unattended. You can also set the ‘lid close behavior’ to sleep and screen lock, so that employees can simply shut the device screen when not in use and the device screen will be locked. 

3. Ensure Network Security

When employees choose to work remotely, they do so for several reasons including location liberty. While few of them might work from their home, few might work from a cafe, a restaurant or even a library, whatever floats their boat and keeps their productivity juices flowing. This creates a challenge for the organizations’ IT teams because there’s no control over which network they might connect to. 

Known WiFi network configurations can be pushed, connection to WiFi sense can be enabled. To ensure that despite connecting to unknown networks, network security is maintained when employees work remotely, IT admins can also configure VPN connection settings and allow/block VPN connections.

Furthermore, to ensure that the devices connect only to secure, known networks, companies can also provide Android-based mobile hotspot devices powered by Scalefusion that can be extensively used for managed Windows 10 devices. 

4. Configure Bitlocker

To ensure data encryption on Windows 10 devices, Scalefusion offers Bitlocker configuration support for Azure Ad joined devices. The devices configured using Office 365 AD credentials can make use of Microsoft’s built-in volume encryption feature that protects encryption for the device hard disk. This enables the IT admins to fully encrypt the data on the hard disk, make it available for access only via a PIN and make the recovery of this data possible when the hard disk is wiped off. 

With Scalefusion Windows 10 MDM, IT teams can add an extra layer of security to data and protect it against theft, loss and is ideal for both on-prem as well as remote working computers. 

5. Make use of Windows Information Protection (WIP)

In many unforeseeable circumstances, employees need to connect for work from their personal laptops and computers. This is sometimes necessary for ensuring business continuity when a company-owned device is not available at the employee’s disposal. Scalefusion supports BYOD (bring your own device) for remote working and employees can connect to the MDM by just clicking on an invitation link in their corporate ID. The corporate data available via enterprise apps, corporate cloud, email, and other collaboration tool is at stake and organization IT cannot control accidental data leak happening through apps and social media, and the public cloud, on the employee-owned devices. Enforcing security policies on employee-owned devices can be slightly difficult since the device users’ privacy and personal data are at stake. 

This is where Scalefusion helps with Windows Information Protection (WIP). Previously known as enterprise data protection (EDP), this works for ensuring data security when employees use personal Windows 10 devices for remote working. WIP helps in protecting corporate data leakage without interfering with personal data privacy. IT can prevent employees’ personal apps from accessing enterprise data and configure encryption settings to protect corporate data. In all these scenarios, the personal data, as well as the user experience of the employee’s device, is unharmed.

As organizations gear up to provide a secure remote working environment, Scalefusion MDM for Windows 10 offers pivotal help with its easy setup, extensive feature-set, and unlimited support. But it is also crucial to understand that the security of the corporate data on the employee devices is only possible as long as the employees are actively accountable and responsible. 

Hence, along with configuring Scalefusion MDM, organizations should also implement security training, involve employees to explain the seriousness of a security breach even if they do not have access to customer/sensitive data and drive a culture of security within the entire workforce.

Resources:

  1. gs.statcounter.com
  2. Shredit.com

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Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops & laptops and other endpoints

Renuka Shahane is a Sr. Content Writer at Scalefusion. An engineering graduate, an Apple junkie and an avid reader, she has a 5+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for technology and web based startups.

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Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops & laptops and other endpoints