4 Tips For Keeping Hackers Out Of Your Remote Support Session

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Jun 28, 2018 11:30 am PST

In today’s fast paced, digital age, companies are under increasing pressure to deliver when it comes to customer service. McKinsey recently predicted that 75 per cent of online customers expect help within 5 minutes, regardless of the nature of the issue or the time of day. Thankfully, technology is advancing so that some companies are not only matching customer expectations, but exceeding them, and setting the benchmark for others.

One area that can have a huge impact on customer experience is in support.  Employing remote support tools help companies rapidly reducing the time it takes to solve a problem and get a fix in place. Gone are the days of tedious back and forth conversations – “can you scroll to the bottom of the page”… “can you click on x”, or waiting 2-3 business days for an available technician to pay a visit. With customer experience being one of the leading competitive differentiators in today’s landscape, remote support tools can be game-changing.

However, like with most technologies today, the fear of security breaches can make remote support tools a scary proposition for some. After all, you’re willingly handing over control of your previous device to someone else, which begs the question: what if someone does this without my consent?

How can businesses leverage the benefits of these tools without exposing themselves to possible attacks? Here are 4 things to look out for when selecting remote support software:

Strong authentication

It’s been clear for some time now that leveraging passwords – even the strongest ones — as a sole method of authentication is no longer an adequate way to secure accounts. Therefore, it’s crucial that strong authentication methods – like multi-factor — are built into the remote access software you select. Multi-factor authentication, which adds another layer of security beyond the password, such as a one-time code, or biometric authentication (fingerprint, iris) ensures that even if a password is compromised, hackers would still need that critical (and hard to duplicate) second piece of information to gain access to the account.

Security tools are continuously advancing and we’re now seeing artificial intelligence and behavioural analytics such as location being factored in to the authentication process. With all these new developments there’s no excuse for remote support tools to be lagging behind.

Roles and permissions

Being able to authorise who has access to what is essential within any organisation, and remote support tools are no exception. Technicians should be authorised at least once every remote access session, to confirm that you’ve given them permission to view and access certain bits of information or areas of your device. The best remote support software use IP restriction tools, selective administration permissions and security certificates.

Businesses should also be able to create support channels that allow specific issues to be assigned to certain groups, and follow through escalation levels to improve customer service.

Session reporting and recording

The recent news that Tesla data had been compromised by a disgruntled employee highlights that breaches aren’t always caused by external hackers. In addition to malicious internal attacks, it’s also possible for an untrained employee to unwittingly click on a phishing link, or accidentally disclose confidential information.

Businesses should educate employees on best security practices as a given, but to bolster internal defences, remote support software should be able to record and report all remote sessions, including chat logging and session recording. Having a complete record of interactions is not only helpful with regards to accountability, but is also important for liability purposes.

Database security

With Yahoo, Uber and Equifax suffering major breaches, the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the new GDPR regulations coming into force, data security has been pushed to the forefront of everyone’s minds. When it comes to remote access software, data encryption, data backup, knowing which country data is stored in, as well as the ability to detect data manipulation are important things to keep in mind.

Another overlooked factor to consider is ‘key agreement encryption’, which means when a technician starts a remote session with a user, their computer must agree on an encryption algorithm and key to be used during the session. Look out for remote access software that uses SSL certificates and verification systems to keep data safe.

With remote support tools becoming normalised, and already adopted by some of the biggest companies in the world, it’s clear that businesses who want to remain competitive won’t be able to avoid implementing the technology. After all, customer expectations are constantly rising, and remote support tools are a great way for businesses to meet them and enhance their customer experience offering. By looking out for the factors outlined in this article, businesses will be able to make the most of the benefits without constantly having to look over their shoulder.

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