CWSI launches free remote working security assessment tool

Paul Conaty, head of consulting, CWSI

FastCheck provides an accurate impression of the health of a company’s remote working setup

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29 October 2020 | 0

CWSI recently launched a free remote working security assessment tool, FastCheck.

Providing expert opinion on a company’s remote working set-up, free of charge, the service is a valuable tool in today’s agile work environment.

“We’re living through one of the biggest changes to how we work since the industrial revolution,” said Paul Conaty, head of consulting, CWSI, speaking to TechCentral.ie. “While a lot of organisations would have had a goal to move towards the cloud and more flexible working; remote working was often seen as a long-term trend. Then Covid-19 accelerated everything. It was massively disruptive to nearly all of our customer base, apart from a small few who were ahead of the curve.”

 

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Remote working is now the norm, with 100% of CWSI’s clients intending to continue remote working into the future, to varying degrees.

“We have organisations talking about the likelihood of not going back to the office at all,” said Conaty. “This is definitely not a short-term trend. It’s not going away. Instead, the idea is to move towards being able to deal with future events,” said Conaty.

When the way we work rapidly changed in March, CWSI was on hand to help companies navigate the transition. “We found we were repeating the same questions to clients when advising them on potential risks or areas for improvement,” said Conaty. From these conversations, the idea to develop FastCheck emerged.

By asking a few structured questions, the team at CWSI get an accurate impression of the health of a company’s remote working setup. “It is designed to get people asking the right questions.”

After the initial assessment, participants receive a brief report, which benchmarks an organisation against best practice, and features key insights and recommendations. This is followed by a 60-minute review session, which Conaty said “gives people a good idea of where, and what they could be doing to improve their situation.”

Taking just 15 minutes to complete, FastCheck was designed to be used by a wide range of companies: “You don’t necessarily have to be technical because the tool is business focused as well,” added Conaty. “We wanted to make it as simple as possible.”

Shining much needed light on blind spots, the tool has proven useful to those who have completed the assessment. “So far the feedback has been great,” said Conaty. “Even organisations that score particularly well were faced with elements that they hadn’t considered. Organisations that aren’t as mature have found risks or gaps that they need to plug.”

The company has been securing remote companies for 10 years – long before Covid-19 made it a necessity. For those new to the field, Conaty offered some words of advice.

“Getting end users to become more reliant on themselves is a great start,” said Conaty. “Training, reaching out to users, communicating with staff, and asking questions are all well worth doing.”

Replicating old methods in a new model isn’t the best solution. Instead, review what you’ve done and look to leverage new and more modern tools, Conaty suggested. While we are relying on home broadband and commercial 4G, having a backup plan in place if the network goes down is essential. Another thing to bear in mind is data security – with a lot of people reliant on personal devices, controls must be put in place to protect data.

“We all have to be easy on ourselves because we’re in an usual situation,” added Conaty. “IT departments have been working day and night to adapt to the change, and we’ve seen some pretty amazing things done in terms of mobilising the workforce. But when anything is done in a hurry, of course there’s opportunity for misconfiguration or risk. Our tool helps mitigate that risk.”

For more information on FastCheck, visit: cwsisecurity.com/secure-online-remote-working-security-assessment/

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