With the popularity of remote working on the rise, it’s normal to wonder about how you’re going to keep your company data secure. After all, companies and IT teams haven’t needed to deal with nearly as many remote workers in the past. In terms of technology, we live in a new age. That’s why 3rd-party solutions like co-managed IT services or security compliance as a service outsource that additional IT burden.
There are many aspects to cover, but let’s start with the basics of security options for your remote workers.
Start With Drafting Policies for Remote Work
Unfortunately, remote security will never be as secure as on-premises security. This is only natural, as more effort is given to securing and monitoring the on-premises network— because that is where most business value is created.
Because of the differences in priority between on-premises and remote security, rules should be put in place. These rules should define what level of information sensitivity can be accessed at remote locations. For example, personal user information such as credit card info should not be viewable or editable from a remote location.
Understanding The Differences Between Cloud Computing and VPNs
While the differences between these two technologies are broad, for the sake of this post, we only care about the differences in how security is handled.
When your company operates off the public cloud—on services like AWS or Office 365—the cloud provider is working hard to implement their own security measures. The most fundamental measure they use is data/file encryption. Your files are encrypted, both while at rest and while traveling across their network of cloud servers. This helps prevent data breaches from occurring externally.
In contrast, VPNs are useful when your company data is held on-premises servers. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) will allow company data to be accessed at remote locations. And just like with the cloud, VPNs utilize data/file encryption software.
In some situations, when there are serious security regulations to be met, remote workers operating through the cloud should double up while in public by using a VPN.
Personal vs Company-Owned Computers
There’s no superior option here—not every company needs to supply workers with company-owned computers/laptops.
However, there are definitely real security benefits to company-owned laptops.
Since the computer will be (hopefully) used only for business purposes, the risk of malware infection goes down.
With company-owned computers you’ll also have the opportunity to load up the computer with the company’s preferred security features, such as Firewall, Antivirus, Anti-Spam, and Email Protection software. Good password hygiene can also be more easily assured.
And that wraps up this blog post. While there is certainly more to the topic of remote security, this is a good place to end.
As always, it’s important to remember that company data is highly sought after. No matter what security measures you take, be sure to handle your company data with the care it deserves.