Remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the main benefits of remote work is the ability to work from anywhere, even while on vacation. This allows employees to maintain their productivity and availability while still enjoying time away from the office.
However, it’s important to remember that working remotely also comes with certain risks, particularly when it comes to network security. When accessing company systems and data from outside the office, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions to ensure that your connection is secure and that sensitive information is protected. In this article, we’ll provide a guide on how to properly set up remote access and discuss some tips for maintaining network security while working remotely.
Setting Up Remote Access
To ensure a smooth remote access setup, certain steps need to be taken, such as choosing the right method, installing necessary software, configuring firewalls, and testing the connection.
One of the first steps is to choose a remote access method that best suits the organization’s needs. There are several remote access methods to choose from, such as VPNs, remote desktop software, and cloud-based network services. You will want to consult your IT department or IT consulting firm, such as EVERNET, on the best method for your organization to operate on a secure network.
After choosing a remote access method, it’s important to install the necessary remote access software on your computer or mobile device. Follow the instructions for installation carefully to ensure that it’s done correctly. Configuring firewalls is also crucial to protect your device from unauthorized access. Check that your firewall settings are configured to allow remote access while still maintaining a secure connection.
Before using remote access when working from home or on vacation, it’s essential to test your connection to ensure that it’s stable and secure. This step will help to prevent any potential issues when working remotely. Taking these steps to set up remote access properly will mean that you can work efficiently and securely.
Network Security While Working Remotely
When working remotely, there are several risks and vulnerabilities of which to be aware. Here are some tips for maintaining network security using remote access:
- Use antivirus software: Antivirus software helps to protect your device from malware and other threats. Make sure to install and regularly update antivirus software on your computer or mobile device.
- Multi-factor authentication: MFA adds an extra layer of security to remote access by requiring a second form of identification in addition to your password. Set up two-factor authentication to further protect your remote access connection.
- Avoid public WiFi: Public WiFi networks are often unsecured, which makes them a prime target for hackers. Whenever possible, avoid using public WiFi when working remotely. Instead, consider investing in a secure personal hotspot for internet access.
- Follow company policies: Make sure to follow any company policies related to remote work and data protection. This may include guidelines on which devices can be used for remote access, how data should be handled, and how to report any security incidents.
- Secure your devices: It is important to secure your devices at all times. In addition, be aware of your surroundings and avoid using your devices in public areas. It is best to use them in private, secure areas such as hotel rooms or business centers.
Why Public WiFi is Dangerous
More and more businesses and public spaces now offer free wireless internet connection. While convenient, public WiFi also poses a significant risk to network security. Here are some of the risks associated with using public WiFi:
- Hacking: Hackers can easily access unsecured public WiFi networks and use them to gain access to your device or steal your sensitive information.
- Eavesdropping: Hackers can also eavesdrop on your internet activity while using public WiFi, allowing them to monitor your online behavior and potentially gain access to your personal data.
- Man-in-the-middle attacks: In a man-in-the-middle attack, a hacker intercepts communication between two parties in order to steal sensitive information. Public WiFi networks are particularly vulnerable to this type of attack.
To stay safe on public WiFi, here are some security measures to follow:
- Use a virtual private network (VPN): A VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection between your device and the internet, helping to protect your data from hackers and other threats.
- Disable file sharing: Make sure to disable file sharing on your device while using public WiFi, as this can make your sensitive information vulnerable.
- Avoid sensitive activities: Try to avoid logging into sensitive accounts, such as online banking, while using public WiFi. If you must access these accounts, use a secure VPN connection or wait until you’re on a secure, private network.
Remote Access & Password Management Tools
Using password management software while accessing a network remotely can significantly reduce the risk of hackers gaining access to your login credentials or personal information. This is especially true when using unknown sources for internet connections.
Password managers provide a secure method of storing and managing passwords, adding an extra layer of protection. When traveling, using a password management software becomes even more critical, as it can help to protect you from potential cyber threats and give you peace of mind while on unverified Wi-Fi networks.
Password management software such as LastPass and Dashlane provides secure and convenient solutions for storing and managing login credentials. With features such as password generation, automatic form filling, and multi-factor authentication, these tools can help users protect their accounts. They also offer secure storage for sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, to help simplify online activities.
EVERNET Consulting can help businesses set up and maintain secure remote access, as well as provide guidance on network security best practices and password management solutions. By taking the necessary steps to ensure network security when accessing remotely, employees can enjoy the benefits of remote work while keeping their data and devices safe.
At EVERNET Consulting, we are dedicated to helping our clients with their cybersecurity needs. We work diligently to find the solutions that best fit the needs of your business. Whether you’re looking for IT support, software recommendations, or guidance on how to protect your devices before traveling, we are here to help. Let’s schedule a discovery call and see how we can help you work smarter, not harder.
Eric is a Business IT cybersecurity advisor, consultant, manager, integrator, and protector who founded EVERNET in 2007. Eric co-hosts a podcast called “Finance and Technology Insights by Brian & Eric” on YouTube. Eric is a regular contributor to the EVERNET blog, writing about the latest technology news and providing his expertise in cyber security prevention and management. Meet with our CEO and say goodbye to one-size-fits-all IT support and cybersecurity.