Remote Access Risks and Fixes
Allowing employees to access network resources remotely is vital in today’s “always connected” business world. For regular HQ employees, it’s a major perk that allows them to work from home or log in and take care of emergencies at odd hours. For employees in remote offices or your “road warriors,” it’s a crucial lifeline that enables them to do their jobs. Remote access can also be a risky proposition since it represents a whole other separate set of connected computers and other devices that your IT department has no control over. What are the risks and how can you mitigate them?
Malware: While your IT department can mandate antivirus software for office computers, protection on employees’ home machines will vary. When a user connects their infected home computer to the office network by VPN, the malware can spread to the whole company. The key issue here is that a VPN connection is essentially the same as plugging that infected computer directly into your network. IT departments in this situation should consider a different connection method, such as Citrix, which only passes video data over the connection instead of VPN.
Compromised Passwords: Password can be compromised a number of ways, from a user writing it down and leaving it someplace to someone “shoulder-surfing” them as they type. A compromised password will give anyone access to your network. One way to combat this is to require frequent password changes. A better IT solution San Diego businesses can always count on is a two-factor authentication where the user must supply more than just a password to get in.
Data Loss: Data loss doesn’t only happen because of a hacker attack. A well-meaning remote user can cut and paste the wrong file from your network to the desktop accidentally. This risk is hard to avoid completely but it can be lessened by thoroughly managing file access. This may be hard to maintain but it is vital to only grant users access to the files they truly need. Changing from an “everyone has full control” model to a more secure process is another way to mitigate data loss caused by remote users.
Remote access is a key component to successful business. However, make sure all the proper measures are in place to reduce future risk as much as possible. For assistance in setting up remote access for your employees, contact Syndeo Communications today.