Remote Work Best Practices
Remote Access from home to office computer has become the most urgent request on all Helpdesk and Computer Support boards. The mass closures of schools, risk of being exposed to the Corona virus through close contact, and local governments’ policies on social distancing has forced many businesses to allow their employees to work from home. While the threat of Corona virus is real, the impacts and risks associated with remote access is also very real for businesses that allow un-trained employees to build their own remote access to the company network. Therefore, we encourage company owners to learn about remote access best practices and evaluate ways in which employee connect their home computer to the office network.
During the course of past few weeks we have helped a number of companies set up secure yet simple way of addressing remote access. Along the line we have seen how some users had started implementing their own quick and dirty solutions to access work computers remotely. Although they succeeded at building the necessary remote access to get their work done they created what is called “Shadow IT” effect (IT workarounds utilized without the knowledge of the company’s IT department).
Unfortunately, when users improvise and create additional ways of connecting from home to the organizations network without the knowledge of IT management staff, these temporary solutions can bring serious threats to the entire system at a time that no business can afford to take any risks while operating under financial and operational stress caused by the Corona Virus.
FBI’s recent public warning for businesses that was issued a few months ago points out to one of these unsafe remote access methods. Keep in mind that each of the so-called 3rd party solutions out there has its own implication. Some of the main concerns are:
1- Security of the tools used to perform the remote connection. Does it create an opportunity that can be utilized by hackers to gain access?
2- Monthly costs associated with the 3rd party tool subscriptions.
3- Does it allow any potential virus or malware jump over from an unprotected home computer to the business side while being connected?
4- What about Data transfer from work to home (or vice versa) violating company access policies that could get the employee or the organization in trouble with either the leak of sensitive client files or compliance issues in regulated environments?
The best approach is to perform a quick review of company policies, then based on the number of people needing remote access, and various other factors decide which route to take. This is where the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” truly fits.
If unsure what is the best method for your specific environment, feel free to reach out and we will be happy to help you keep the wheels of business moving.