19 Mar MSP COVID-19 SCREENING ADVISORY
Be Sure to Screen PCs for All Work-at-Home Employees
With the massive shift of the workforce out of centralized office locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MSPs are being pressured to grant an unprecedented amount of remote access to company networks by employees who have been asked to work from home.
This rapid re-alignment of resources dramatically increases the opportunity for hacks, breaches, and phishing attacks on both the central network and the individual employees’ computers.
RapidFire Tools is advising all MSPs not to allow any new remote access or connections to the central client network without first quickly screening the home computers for basic IT security. MSPs who have Network Detective can very quickly and easily run a non-intrusive remote scan on any home worker’s computer, and generate the Asset Detail Report that will answer these key questions:
- Is basic IT security protection in place, such as anti-virus and personal firewall configuration?
- Is the operating system “current” (i.e. not Windows XP or Windows 7) and is it properly patched?
- What applications are installed on the computer that could represent a threat?
- Are there open ports that make the system more vulnerable?
In addition to answering the above security questions, the same scan will provide MSPs full asset details — including basic computer specifications, OS, RAM, network configuration, etc. — needed to provide support to provide technical support to their clients’ employees who are working from home during the crisis.
Network Detective includes a “local data collector” designed to run on individual computers not connected to the company network. It captures all this information and more in just a few minutes, allowing the MSP to quickly review and document how the home computer is set up.
Once the home computer has been screened, updated as needed to make it safe, the MSP can provide the remote access. Once these new home computers are connected to the network, MSPs should consider re-scanning all computers on a weekly basis to ensure that no changes were made to the machines that could inadvertently introduce new vulnerabilities to the corporate infrastructure. MSPs can deploy Reporter with its Remote Data Collectors to automatically perform weekly scans on all computers on the network.
Network Detective and Reporter are available for purchase by subscription online 24/7 at www.rapidfiretools.com.