Working from home is becoming more and more popular among businesses of all types. During the 2020 COVID-19 global lockdowns, the ability to work remotely on company laptops was a godsend for some companies. Despite the extreme discomfort and inconvenience of being stuck in your house all day, many businesses were able to survive, or even thrive, while in lockdown.
Alternatively, remote work can be a lifesaver for employees who need more flexibility in their lives, or who live in areas with long commutes or difficult transportation options. It can also be a boon for companies looking to save money on overhead costs or attract top talent from a wider geographic area.
Balancing Cybersecurity Risks with Operational Flexibility
Allowing employees to work from home can provide numerous organizational advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to weigh both sides of the equation when considering your company’s business priorities.
Whether you have one employee working on a mobile device or an entire staff telecommuting from home, don’t sacrifice your cybersecurity for convenience. CorCystems is here to help you seamlessly transition to a work-from-home environment. Here is what you need to understand your options for remote access and how working with an IT service provider can help keep your business protected.
Platforms with Various Cybersecurity Trade-offs
Allowing your employees to work remotely and maintaining your organization’s cybersecurity can be difficult. You can accomplish the right level of security with minimal risk by choosing the right option for your team. If you slack on your cybersecurity, you can’t be protected if someone decides to infiltrate your network. You need to always be prepared.
Remote Desktop Access
One option you can choose is remote desktop connection, which allows your employee to remotely control a computer that is physically located at your business. This is normally done through an intermediate server or third-party software. When the two computers are up and running, applications and data can be saved only on the office computer, but your network’s cybersecurity is still in place. Basically, the remote device acts as a display for the office computer.
This type of access does deal with setting up proper security protocols to ensure that your system is not vulnerable to a ransomware attack. When setting up correctly, communication between the two computers can be encrypted for data protection. But, there is still the chance of someone infiltrating your network. If the employee’s home computer does not have the same protection as your office, malicious data may be able to get into your network when unnoticed.
Virtual Private Networks
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have a number of advantages over other remote access options. Right off the bat, a VPN is less vulnerable to direct attacks and encryption protocols for transferring information can be implemented.
Issues that you may experience with a VPN will most likely only relate to end-users. Individual PCs that aren’t protected could transfer viruses or malware to a VPN when they aren’t secured. The always-on broadband connection aspect of a VPN can also make you more vulnerable if an employee does not disconnect.
The good news is that any of the threats that happen at an end-user level can be addressed with passwords, the proper software, security policies, and configuration.
Direct Application Access
A low-risk option for your employees and to your cybersecurity is direction application access. This is when you only give your employee access to a single application that is located on the perimeter of your network, such as email. This way, the employee is not accessing the entire network, but you can choose which select applications they can use.
The downside is that this generally doesn’t allow for extensive work to be completed. The employee will have very little connection to the data on your network and may not be able to take data from an application as needed. It’s recommended mostly for traveling or using a mobile device where complete access is not required.
Telework employees can also access company data and applications through a browser-based webpage or virtual desktop. All information accessed cannot be saved to an employee’s device without permission. This option’s safety can be heightened if you restrict employees’ access to other programs while the portal is in use. If they have fewer restrictions, they may access the internet and allow your data to be vulnerable.
What to Consider for Work From Home Solutions
When you are looking into an option or provider for remote access, there are a few things to consider:
- Security: How secure is the option you are looking into? Do you have appropriate protocols that can help protect your company’s data?
- Ease-of-Use: His this remote access level easy for your employees to use? Will your IT department be able to operate and maintain it?
- Setup: Consider how long the setup will take for all of those involved. Will there be any downtime during the setup?
- Cost: How much does the solution cost compared to another? Will it save your company money and be beneficial for your daily operations?
Setting up Remote Access for Your Business
Working from home also presents certain challenges that must be addressed in order to be successful. These can include issues related to communication and collaboration, as well as concerns about cybersecurity and data privacy. Companies must develop clear policies and protocols to address these challenges and ensure that employees are able to work effectively and securely from their remote locations.
Overall, working from home can be a valuable option for companies and employees alike, but it requires careful planning and management to be successful. By working together to address the challenges and opportunities of remote work, companies can create a productive and flexible work environment that benefits everyone involved.
If you are looking for ways to implement a remote work environment for your business, CorCystems can help. To learn more about how we can help you with remote access, please give us a call today at (203) 431-1341