The increased flexibility provided by remote work environments can be very helpful and productive for organizations. Of course, we saw a big boost over the past few years as the need arose, but these types of setups have been around for quite some time and they keep getting better as they evolve and adapt.
But before you go signing up for the coolest new tools and technologies, it’s important to be aware of all the considerations involved in securing these environments properly and making sure your organizations deployment is setup to succeed.
What You Need to Consider with Remote Access
Before diving into the nitty-gritty of setup, it's crucial to understand some key factors for a successful implementation.
Security and Compliance
The security of your remote access system is paramount. Ensure that your remote access solution complies with industry standards and regulations, particularly if your business deals with sensitive data. Implement multi-factor authentication everywhere possible!
How Users Connect
Your team members will likely use a variety of devices to access your network remotely. It's essential to manage and secure these devices, whether they are company-owned or personal. Device management includes setting policies for device usage, remote wiping capabilities in case of loss or theft, and ensuring that devices have the latest security patches and updates.
Promoting collaboration among remote team members is vital. Implement communication and collaboration tools such as video conferencing, chat applications, and project management software. These tools foster teamwork and help maintain a sense of connection among remote workers.
Your Guide for Setting Up Remote Access for Your Team
Let's walk through the beginning steps of setting up a secure remote work environment for your team:
Figure Out What Remote Work Looks Like for You
There are a lot of options here and remote work can look different for everyone, so perhaps the most important step is figuring out what you need your team to be able to accomplish. This could be as simple as users accessing files from cloud storage all the way up to a shared server users connect up to where every app and file is waiting for them. This is where it can be handy to have a trusted IT partner who lives and breathes this stuff so you can work together to find the best options.
Define Access Levels
Determine who needs access to what resources within your network, and then set up user roles and permissions accordingly to ensure that sensitive data remains protected. The Principle of Least Privilege is helpful here, and there are tools in every reputable system to ensure data stays safe.
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
One of our favorites! MFA requires users to provide two or more forms of verification before accessing the network, enhancing protection against unauthorized access. That means even if the bad guys steal user credentials, without the other pieces – usually a smartphone app or keyfob – they’re dead in the water, and your data stays safe.
Address Device Management
Are you going to issue computers and require their use for connecting to work resources? Can users login from home with whatever they have available? Establish device management policies to ensure that all devices used for remote access are safe and compliant with your organization's security requirements.
Train and Support your Users
This might be new and scary for some users, don’t toss them in the deep end without a floaty! Make sure to train up your team on the new systems, best practices, and security protocols, then be ready to support them as everyone works out the kinks and finds their way around.
Empower Your Team with Secure Remote Work
The ability to establish secure remote access can be a boon for businesses, enabling teams to adapt to whatever life may throw at them and keep productivity up from almost anywhere. Just make sure you’re not trading a properly protected environment for convenience, and you’ll be ready to go!