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Ten FREE Tools to Protect Remote Workers from CyberAttacks

A recent survey by Arctic Security found that the number of hacked companies worldwide more than doubled since January of this year.

It's no surprise that employers and employees alike are worried about the rise in Covid-related hacking, especially considering the large number who recently moved to remote working.

Interested in safeguarding against future attacks, experts at Specops Software have compiled their top ten FREE IT tools for businesses dealing with remote workers.

Top ten FREE tools:

  1. TightVNC - TightVNC is a free desktop sharing software particularly popular amongst business users and IT managers. For IT managers, it allows for the complete monitoring and control of another computer remotely, eliminating the fear of not knowing what an employee is up to.
  2. Clonezilla - Clonezilla is a free, open-source toolkit designed to clone disks and hard drives, as well as facilitate backup and disaster recovery - perfect for businesses requiring uniform set-ups across their remote workforce.
  3. Windows Sysinternals - Windows Sysinternals is an easy to use utilities site that helps managers and admins to manage, troubleshoot and diagnose Windows systems and applications.
  4. Microsoft Account Lockout and Management Tools - The Microsoft Account Lockout and Management Tools are a great set of applications for when something goes wrong. It presents a range of tools allowing admins to manage accounts and troubleshoot account lockouts.
  5. mRemoteNG - A fork of mRemote, mRemoteNG is a nifty open source software that allows for the effortless viewing and monitoring of remote connections across an employer's workforce.
  6. BooZet - The great range from BooZet freeware eradicates the fear of losing files ever again. Its four types of freeware allow the user to index contents across a range of disks, backup drivers, view saved 3DMark results easily and clean systems.
  7. Notepad++ - An enhanced version of the original Windows app, Notepad++ is a powerful text editor which includes a multitude of features such as: 27 programming languages, supporting syntax highlighting, synchronized edits and views, and more.
  8. PuTTY - PuTTY is the perfect open source terminal application for system admins, developers, network engineers and other IT professionals that need to connect to remote systems. It is great for basic technical chores alongside secure file transfers via a range of methods.
  9. Specops Password Auditor - The Specops Password Auditor is a neat little tool to ensure the security of passwords across a workforce.  Specifically, it allows the admin to scan their Active Directory for password-related security vulnerabilities.
  10. Specops Password Notification - Lastly, the Specops Password Notification enables IT admins to configure password expiration email reminders to be sent via their own SMTP server, letting IT admins communicate password expirations to remote users.

Beyond the free tools, Specops' cyber security expert, Darren James, shares more advise to employers on how best to protect their business and employees:

All IT security is based upon the premise that you need to give the right access to the right people using the right device. When you apply this to remote workers, the following areas need to be considered:

  • How they are connecting to the company data/system:
    • Cloud - accessible via a web browser.
    • Virtual Private Network (VPN) - Which type will depend on what the machine supports. Is it user initiated (you log in and press a connect button) or machine initiated?
    • Remote Desktop Services - Citrix NetScaler or MS Remote Desktop Gateway server.
  • The type and location of data/system they need access to:
    • Is it cloud or on-premise?
    • Is it sensitive information? Does exposing the data to remote workers contravene any privacy laws?
  • The location of the user accessing the data/system:
    • Does the system react differently depending on whether it's accessed over a WAN or LAN?
    • Are they accessing the data from home, public location, different country?
    • Physical security - is the device encrypted, locked down and does the device need a privacy filter?
  • How the user is authenticated to use data/systems:
    • Password, 2FA, MFA.
    • Authenticated device.
    • If a password expires, how is it reset and updated?
  • How they should be allowed to use data/systems:
    • Should it be presented via a Virtual Desktop rather than VPN?
    • Should they be allowed to Print locally/Screenshot?
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Published Monday, May 18, 2020 12:01 PM by David Marshall
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