Working remotely provides a variety of benefits for both employers and employees. Those benefits alongside the need for safer working conditions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic have created an increased demand for remote access solutions for businesses of all sizes. Regardless of industry, business owners must adapt daily operations to meet the needs of telecommuting. This means finding workable, reliable, and efficient remote access solutions that prioritize functionality. In addition, businesses must consider the security risks associated with remote access and address those risks proactively.
Here, we’ll discuss the security risks businesses can face when working remotely as well as steps that can be taken to mitigate them.
When businesses think of shifting to telecommuting, they often overlook the unique security challenge that remote access poses. So, how are the risks of remote working solutions different than in-office work environments? Remote work environments are usually not as safeguarded as in-person situations because there are more workstations, devices, and networks that expose the organization to potential cybersecurity threats. Employees working at home are usually not working within the same safety protocols of in-office networks. This makes it easier for cybersecurity threats to breach the company system through corrupted links, phishing, weak network security, and more.
However, despite the increased risk of cybersecurity threats to remote workers, there are steps that businesses can take to mitigate risks and create a safer environment.
Securing Your Network for Remote Access
Before implementing a work-from-home solution for your employees, be sure to take proper cybersecurity steps to ensure that your business’s network is protected. Some of the steps businesses can take include:
- Set Up Cloud Applications – Applications such as Microsoft Office 365 allow employees to have access to business systems, files, and email while under the protection of strict security measures.
- Utilize a VPN – VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, work similarly to firewalls in that they protect users while working online. VPNs provide much of the same level of security as in-office networks.
- Create a Remote Working Security Policy – Most cybersecurity issues that businesses face occur due to situations that could be prevented with proper security best practices. Enacting a policy for employees that prioritizes safety while working online can help them understand what to do and what not to do to keep the business safe.
- Manage Employee Devices – Devices that are used to access the organization’s online systems should be protected with antivirus, email, and internet security software.
- Implement Password/Dual Authentication Protocol – All employees should be subject to forced password changes as well as dual authentication for all work-related devices and programs.
- Perform Regular Software & Application Updates – Regardless of what type of software or applications your business is using, always perform updates as recommended.
- Set Up Backup/Disaster Recover Protocols – In the event of a cybersecurity threat, a BDR solution can ensure that business files and systems are safely and securely backed up and redundant.
Take Smart Security Measures
As you can see, there are many steps that must be taken when shifting to remote working solutions. For many businesses, the process of migrating business systems to a remote solution and taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of said solution is overwhelming and at times confusing. That’s why many experts recommend working with an experienced IT provider. With their years of proper knowledge and experience, IT professionals can streamline the process and ensure the best possible security for your organization.
IS&T – Remote Access Experts
For over twenty years, IS&T has helped our clients navigate countless changes in the IT landscape. We know firsthand that when it comes to IT, standards, security needs, and working structures can change on a dime. That’s why we offer next-level IT services and support to assist businesses of all sizes. Our goal is to support the business owners located in the greater Houston area and beyond through all the unique challenges IT provides. This includes assisting many businesses in shifting to telecommuting and hybrid work environments during the COVID-19 pandemic. From determining what remote access solution is right for your organization, to migrating your files and systems, to providing an ironclad cybersecurity plan and backup solution to ensure top-notch peace of mind – our team does it all.
Contact us today to start a consultation for remote access.