Remote work is no longer a foreign concept for most organizations and individuals. However, with the rapid expansion of remote work tools and opportunities, employers and businesses must secure their work.
With distributed network access, one can no longer rely on traditional network security practices for their teams and businesses. So what can they do instead? To secure remote access, you need to know what it means and what technologies can help strengthen security.
What is Remote Access?
Remote access lets you connect to a service, application, computer, or data from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re accessing your company’s services, a server, files stored on a remote computer, or something similar, it all counts as remote access.
Initially, we were mostly limited to remote desktop connections when talking about remote access, but now it’s a broader application area used by the masses. It benefits individuals and businesses for better work productivity, flexibility, reduced expenses, and an expanded pool of potential talent to hire.
The Best Ways to Secure Remote Access
Although it has several advantages, there are some variables that a company/employer cannot control. Thus, it becomes a priority to secure remote access.
Fortunately, it’s not rocket science to do so. Here we highlight some of the best ways:
1. Using Virtual Private Networks
Instead, deploying VPNs is a common way to quickly secure remote access.
Employees can securely access corporate apps and data through assigned VPN access. It may also come with firewall restrictions, where you cannot access certain external services/applications connected through your organization’s VPN service.
It does not require significant efforts to educate users or employees to use it.
2. Security policies
Whether or not you invest in having the most robust security service in place is sometimes solely the responsibility of the user or employee.
So you need to create organizational security policies for everyone to follow and help educate users who are unfamiliar with certain security practices.
The policy should include information on emergencies (if breached) and what not to do when accessing the network remotely. The technologies used for security should also be made known to users as part of the policy to avoid confusion.
3. Zero Trust Access
Zero-Trust Network Access is the modern solution to all problems. It takes up the concept ofnever trust, always verifyfrom the start. The service assumes that the network is already under threat; therefore, it checks each user/device before acting on anything.
Even if your business operations have been compromised, it helps you mitigate risk and minimize damage. Although it tries to be an all-in-one solution, potentially replacing VPNs, it could be expensive compared to other traditional approaches.
4. Intrusion prevention and detection systems
Intrusion detection and prevention systems help secure applications and networks and mitigate attacks. You can block new threats, which is possible with extensive monitoring.
These systems are set up to monitor your network and incidents and track logs. While monitoring network activity, it looks for suspicious behavior and known threats. The Intrusion Detection System (IDS) will help you deal with attacks in progress, and the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) allows you to block incoming attacks.
To some extent, the VPN network restricts access to a few things for user security. But, a full-fledged firewall solution is still useful.
There are on-premises options and cloud-based firewalls. For remote workers, cloud-based firewalls are best. It allows the organization to quickly increase network security protections without special efforts.
6. Using Password Manager and Multi-Factor Authentication
In general, everyone should use a password manager. For companies, sharing and securing passwords is a priority.
A password manager should also ensure that you use strong passwords. To top it off, using multi-factor authentication adds a strong layer of security even if an attacker manages to break into your network. This ensures that user accounts and critical access in a network have been secured.
7. Data encryption and backup
To prepare for the worst, you should at least protect your data. You can follow our article on file encryption to get started – spoiler alert: it’s pretty easy.
In addition to encryption, you must have a backup of your data. It is preferable to be able to configure an offsite backup.
So, in case of a breach, you don’t have to worry about data recovery because the encrypted files will have no value for the attackers.
8. Use of secure software
It doesn’t matter if you’re using enterprise-grade protection, unless your apps are secure.
For your security to work, you need to know that your apps are inherently secure. If so, attackers will be reluctant to try to access your network for nefarious activities.
9. Educate your employees
It may not be sufficient to enforce security policies if employees or users do not know what they are doing.
For example, a simple email can jeopardize your entire network if someone falls for it. So, with basic training in standard security practices, you and your users can prevent common attacks like phishing.
10. Access and identity management
Identity Access and Management (IAM) is a framework for managing users, passwords, and access levels.
The framework should allow you to automate everything you have with technologies and policies instead of manual procedures. While this makes things easier, it also reduces the cost of improving your business security.
Hassle-free operations with secure remote access
When it comes to remote operations, if you don’t take the proper steps, it can disrupt the entire access, leading to all sorts of issues. Sure, remote access is convenient, but knowing the right tools and solutions should improve the user experience.
Securing remote access can be difficult, but taking it one step at a time should help ensure a peaceful working environment. As the demand for remote work grows, you’ll constantly find new ways to make the process easier. It would be best if you always explore more unique options for securing remote access while keeping things simple and convenient.