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

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    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’s Windows MDM solution enables the IT teams to provision remote working while ensuring the security of corporate devices and data.

    Common remote work security challenges for remote workforce

    Unsecured Networks

    Remote workers often rely on personal Wi-Fi networks, which may not be as secure as corporate networks. This can leave them vulnerable to eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.

    Phishing Attacks

    Remote workers are more susceptible to phishing scams because they may be less familiar with the company’s security protocols and more likely to be caught off guard by a well-crafted email.

    Data Loss

    With employees working from various locations, there’s an increased risk of sensitive data being leaked or accidentally shared. This can happen through unencrypted file sharing, lost or stolen devices, or even social engineering scams.

    Weak Passwords and Password Management

    When employees are using multiple devices and applications, it can be tempting to reuse passwords or choose weak ones that are easy to remember. This can make them more vulnerable to brute-force attacks.

    Outdated Software

    Ensuring that all devices used for work are updated with the latest security patches can be a challenge in a remote work environment. Outdated software can contain vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit.

    Unmonitored Activity

    It can be more difficult for IT teams to monitor employee activity when they are working remotely. This can make it harder to detect suspicious behavior that could indicate a security breach.

    Insider Threats

    Disgruntled employees or those with access to sensitive data pose a significant security risk, regardless of location. However, the remote work environment can make it easier for insider threats to go unnoticed.

    Remote workforce security best practices

    Securing a remote workforce requires a multi-layered approach, and Mobile Device Management (MDM) plays a crucial role. Here’s how MDM helps establish secure remote work practices:

    Enforce Strong Device Security

    MDM allows you to enforce essential security measures like strong passwords, screen lock timeouts, and remote wipe capabilities on enrolled devices. This minimizes the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive data in case of a lost or stolen device.

    Secure Work Applications

    For BYOD scenarios, MDM can segregate work applications and data from personal ones, creating a secure container on the device. This ensures work information remains protected even if the employee uses unsecured networks or downloads personal apps.

    Manage Application Access

    MDM empowers you to restrict or grant access to specific work applications based on user roles and permissions. This minimizes the risk of malware infiltration or unauthorized data transfers through unapproved apps.

    Maintain Software Updates

    MDM streamlines the process of deploying and enforcing security updates for operating systems and work applications on all enrolled devices. This ensures your remote workforce remains protected against the latest cyber threats.

    Track Device Activity

    MDM solutions often offer basic device activity monitoring features, providing insights into potential security risks. This allows IT teams to identify suspicious behavior and take proactive measures to safeguard sensitive data.

    Organizations can empower their remote workforce to work productively without compromising secure remote working practices by implementing a robust MDM solution alongside other security practices.

    How to maintain security when employees work remotely

    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. 

    Also read: What is BitLocker

    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. It 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 Windows 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.




    1. What is remote work security?

    Remote work security is like guarding your digital front door while working from anywhere. It involves securing devices, networks, and data from potential threats, ensuring a safe and productive remote work environment.

    2. What is the best way to maintain security while working from home?

    The best way to maintain security while working from home is by ensuring a strong first line of defense. Use strong passwords, update software regularly, encrypt sensitive data, and use VPNs for secure connections.

    3. How do you ensure security and confidentiality when working remotely?

    Ensuring security and confidentiality while working remotely is like locking your digital workspace. Use encryption, secure Wi-Fi networks, and two-factor authentication and follow company policies for handling sensitive information to safeguard against unauthorized access and data breaches.

    4. How do you maintain secure remote working?

    To maintain secure remote working, think of your digital workspace as a virtual on-site setup. Employ measures like VPNs, firewalls, antivirus software, regular software updates, and employee training to defend against cyber threats and ensure a safe remote work environment.

    5. How does remote work affect cybersecurity?

    Remote work affects cybersecurity as there’s a lack of control over device usage. It increases vulnerability to cyber threats due to dispersed networks and potentially unsecured devices. Implementing robust security measures and educating employees about cyber risks are essential to mitigate these challenges.

    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane is an avid reader who loves writing about technology. She is an engineering graduate with 10+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for web-based startups.

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