The global pandemic of COVID-19 overturned corporate operations throughout the world, unexpectedly forcing many businesses into a remote work mode to keep operations running efficiently. While remote work has become our new normal, employers and employees may ignore security. Securing remote work will certainly save firms a lot of time and money in the long run.
The pandemic is being fought with vaccines, and new cases are decreasing in various locations. With these changes underway, a reliable and secure remote access strategy should remain at the top of the IT priority list.
As a result, you must take necessary precautions to safeguard yourself, your employees, and your company. Here are some helpful hints to assist you to get through this difficulty.
Make use of a remote access VPN
A remote access VPN provides remote access to resources that would otherwise be unavailable from offsite areas, as well as encrypting connections and enabling access control for corporate networks. When employees work remotely, setting up a VPN and mandating all remote connections to go via it is an essential practice for keeping resources safe.
Some employees may prefer to connect to unprotected public Wi-Fi. Employers should prevent employees from doing so using work devices. Many employees will also be connecting to their own Wi-Fi network, so they should make sure it is safe and password-protected.
Experts advise that corporations encourage remote workers to utilize remote access VPNs in order to preserve end-to-end data encryption. If you want to get more information about remote access VPNs, you can take a look here: https://nordlayer.com/remote-access-vpn/
Have a remote work policy
Another important step in addressing remote access concerns is to establish explicit policies that govern how employees work remotely. Employee training must be repeated on a regular basis since best practices are typically forgotten after a while. Employees require periodic training to assist them to recognize phishing and spam, in addition to recognizing what to do if these situations occur. Rules should also continue to change at a rapid rate to keep up with the changing workforce.
The employees should have a cybersecurity routine that requires them to keep their software and devices updated and all cybersecurity tools working effectively so that no security gap lets data breaches and other security risks happen.
Assign specific remote work devices
Although it is completely understandable how this can't be the case for all organizations, the ideal situation for remote work is when employees don't utilize personal devices when working remotely. Instead, companies should offer staff specialized devices for remote work if possible, and it should be mandated by the policy that these devices only should be used for remote work.
The corporate IT staff should maintain such devices to ensure that they are properly updated and do not include any extra software or data that may present a security risk. You should educate your employees about certain things about using their devices to work remotely:
- Encourage employees to lock their displays anytime they leave their devices alone, particularly if they are working remotely in a public space.
- Create a clear and simple policy for lost or stolen devices so that employees can report the missing device to the appropriate person as soon as possible, reducing the risk of data loss.
- Make sure staff schedule time to download security updates for all of their devices on a regular basis.
- Use MDM software to remotely lock access to, wipe data from, and retrieve backup data from devices.
- Make sure that all employees use a remote access VPN on their devices.
Consider authentication with a single sign-on
In a typical situation, your remote employees must remember some crucial information such as passwords and email addresses. The employees may find this irritating, and it may even result in certain security difficulties. It may cause some people to forget their credentials. Worse, they can write or type it down, making their account information accessible to prying eyes.
To get rid of this issue, you can allow your employees to use single sign-on (SSO) to access multiple applications and programs. Your remote employees can use SSO to sign in to any of your web domains, mobile applications, and third-party systems with a single identity, reducing the number of logins they have to make each time they start working. This will increase productivity and decrease the security risks that come with multiple credentials.
Even though it seems like the COVID-19 is coming to an end, it is clear that working remotely is here to stay. In fact, 62% of employees anticipate their companies to enable them to work remotely even after the pandemic ends.
As your company transitions to remote work, you'll need to discover how to keep your employees safe as they work from home. Leaving them unprotected makes your company susceptible to possible threats. You can use tools such as a remote access VPN and other best practices to safeguard your company. What really matters while choosing what kind of precautions to take is knowing your company and your employees well, and meeting their needs in the best way possible.