A few years ago, working remotely was more of a privilege than a necessity set aside for the executive members of organizations. However, with more employees working remotely combined with the emergence of strong mobile networks, remote technology is becoming a must-have for most businesses. In fact, at least 43% of American employees confirmed that they spend a few times working remotely.
While this is a win for the business in that employees can work on the go, it comes bundled with a security risk that the network they use to access the organization’s resources might be compromised, especially if they use their own devices. As more employees embrace working remotely, and even overseas, the onus is upon your IT department to secure the access networks.
Here are some great practices to beef up your security for remote access:
Consider Your Business Needs
Your business may use legacy remote access infrastructure which might limit the access of your staff. For instance, you might be utilizing old VPN which calls for the use of software on secure endpoints but limits the use of smartphones and PCs to access your systems while at home. You might also have a mobile access gateway that allows devices with authenticated and encrypted wireless access to use your systems but is only compatible with one brand of smartphones.
There are limits to almost every secure access solution, but you do not have to use one that limits how you conduct business. You can use error log requests sent from employees’ devices to determine the issues with your current solution, according to the apache logging basics guide. Once you have a full scope of what needs to be changed, you can then determine the best solution for allowing secure remote access with few limitations.
Focus On Assets Rather Than Devices
The endpoint independence ability of devices facilitates remote access by the users, but this doesn’t mean that you must ignore your security needs. Luckily, most VPNs tend to detect the characteristics of the endpoint device, assess the security threat it poses and even install security programs without the intervention of security personnel. Although this is not meant to bust your bubble, some of the remote access VPNs might be limited in doing so depending on the devices used.
For instance, the security check might work best on PCs and turn out to be dysfunctional on smartphones. To avoid this mess, why not invest in company assets instead? For instance, you can work with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to insulate your apps and workplace systems from the threat that the devices pose.
Pay Attention to Data
VDI is a great option for data protection, but it won’t work best for employees who are disconnected. Similarly, VPNs are best used to protect data that is in transit and will need to be combined with other security measures such as passwords to protect data that is at rest. The trick is to secure the individual devices to ensure that the data stored in them is safe. For instance, you can create sandboxes on the mobile devices to monitor data, and delete it in case the device is lost or retired.
Use a Mobile-First Mindset
The modern workplace embraces the bring-your-own-device policy where employees can work either remotely or on-premise using their own devices. This means that you ought to consider both on-premise and off-premise factors when coming up with security policies to avoid any bottlenecks. Risks will typically vary as a user switches between private and public networks, which makes finding common ground with regard to security paramount.
Consider options that will embrace both on-site and off-site access with fewer hiccups. For instance, options that help maintain an always-on VPN when connected to company systems unless the user is connecting through your corporate WLAN will suffice.
Remote access and corporate security should coexist. The more secure the accessed data is, the fewer the business bottlenecks you will experience. Consider the above tips to offer remote workers smooth data access.