Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 54

Securing Our Future
C llab rati n
TODAY and TOMORROW
don't turn off the device during the update process; if you do,
you could end up with a useless device.
Get Your Walking Shoes
With your administrator account protected and all updates
installed, your first level of defense is now in place. Now, we
get to the walking around part! You likely have many devices
connected to your internet router - mostly of them through
Wi-Fi. All these devices form a potential risk for your homeoffice
setup; with that, they also pose a risk to the teamwork
between your home office and the enterprise network.
Hackers might not have tremendous interest in that so-called
smart device on your network - but it might be a conduit to
attack something else. For
example, hackers could target
your company notebook or the
connection with your company
network.
Exploiting unpatched vulnerabilities
is the easiest path for
hackers and cybercriminals. To
avoid that, you will need to put
in the work at regular intervals.
Each device that connects
to your network and internet
service must be checked for
updates and patches, as well
as for risky default login credentials.
Your internet router
could easily become your best
friend in this exercise; it can
One thing to consider is to make a few of these segments,
each of which is properly separated from the others. One might
be the above-mentioned segment for older devices, where
you want to contain the risks posed by devices that no longer
receive updates. There could be another segment where you
place all other personal devices. Finally, there could be a segment
in which you place all devices related to your home office.
That can be more than just a notebook, of course, and it's fully
dependent on your situation. For example, when you have a
network printer that you want to use for private and work documents,
you can place that in a segment without an internet
connection with which other segments can communicate.
Integrators
have the
potential of
becoming
'trusted
partners'
for home
cybersecurity
issues and in
other areas.
offer you an overview of all the devices that have connected
with the router in the past. You can use that as a checklist to
make sure no device ever escapes your attention.
You will need to check updates and credentials device by
device. You might discover that some older devices no longer
receive updates from the suppliers. You might want to consider
replacing those devices. A relatively good alternative is to
place them in a separate segment of your home network and
configure that network segment not to allow communication
with other devices and segments.
Segmenting Your Network
Segmenting your network is a good example of what's already
common practice for enterprise networks, and it's definitely not
a bad idea for home networks, either. Most modern internet routers
support it, but users might be scared away by the perceived
complexity of doing so. I use the word " perceived " because, in
reality, it's not as complicated as it might sound. It's beyond the
scope of this article to describe all steps for all routers on the
market, but very good step-by-step guides are available. They'll
help you make the necessary changes to your internet router.
54
Commercial Integrator SEPTEMBER 2022
Considering Alternative Solutions
For the reasons described, it's always a good idea to make sure
your devices have the latest patches and updates. It's not just
related to securing your home office, either. And, as noted, it's
possible to take additional steps, such as segmenting to separate
traffic between personal and professional devices. However,
I must admit that this is not everybody's cup of tea, and it will
most likely involve some trial and error until it all works perfectly.
Thus, a growing number of enterprises have chosen a different
path to secure their employees' hybrid-work environments.
We see, for example, some opting to provide their employees
with a remotely managed router, which they can connect to
their private internet router. All work-related devices will only
connect to that company router, and that router will use the
available internet connection to create secured and encrypted
connections with the company network.
Although this takes away a lot of pain points and risks, as well
as the burden of depending on everyone to secure their own
devices and routers themselves, it is not a workable solution for
frequent travelers or for work-from-anywhere setups. In these
cases, solutions like forced VPN and its smarter successors, as
well as encryption and hardening of all devices, come into play.
Ultimately, Security is Up to You
Although many people are rejoicing at the explosion of hybrid
working and working from home, it's obvious that securing home
environments takes a level of effort that the typical user might
not be aware of. Therein lies an opportunity for integrators. They
might be called upon to help design or set up these home environments,
and integrators have the potential of becoming " trusted
partners " for home cybersecurity issues and in other areas.
Providing education, and in some cases services, to these remote
employees could prove the differentiator in a tight marketplace.
Whether it's done with external integrator support, via enterprise
resources or just by end users' own savvy, securing the
new home office will clearly be a critical task.
Dr. Johannes Drooghaag is chief information security officer
and data protection officer with Wedo.
commercialintegrator.com
http://www.commercialintegrator.com

Commercial Integrator September 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator September 2022

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Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 1
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