The 10 Best Ways to Secure Remote Access
Remote work is no longer an alien concept for most organizations and individuals. However, with the rapid expansion of remote working tools and opportunities, employers and businesses need to secure their work.
With distributed access to the network, 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 the technologies that can help enhance security.
What Is Remote Access?
Remote access lets you connect to a service, application, computer, or data from anywhere globally. Whether you are accessing your company’s services, a server, files stored on a remote computer, or anything similar, it all counts as remote access.
Initially, we were mostly limited to remote desktop connections when talking about remote access, but now it is a broader application area used by the masses. It benefits individuals and businesses for better work productivity, flexibility, reduced expenses, and expanded potential talent pool for hire.
The Best Ways to Secure Remote Access
While it comes with several perks, there are some variables that a company/employer cannot control. So, it becomes a priority to secure remote access.
Fortunately, it is not rocket science to do it. Here, we highlight some of the best ways:
1. Using Virtual Private Networks
Deploying VPNs is instead a common way to quickly secure remote access.
Employees can securely access corporate applications and data through the assigned VPN access. It could 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 effort to educate users or employees to use it.
2. Security Policies
Whether you invest in setting up the most robust security service or not, sometimes it is just the responsibility of the user or employee.
So, you should create organizational security policies for everyone to follow and help educate users unaware of certain security practices.
The policy should include information about emergencies (in case of a breach) and what not to do when accessing the network remotely. Technologies used for security should also be made aware of the users under the policy to avoid confusion.
3. Zero-Trust Access
Zero-trust network access is the modern solution to all the problems. It takes the concept of “never trust, always verify” from the get-go. The service assumes that the network is already at risk; hence, it verifies every user/device before acting on anything.
Even if your business operations have been compromised, it helps you mitigate the risks and keep the damage to a minimum. While 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 because of extensive monitoring.
These systems are configured to monitor your network and incidents and keep track of the logs. While monitoring the network activity, it looks for suspicious behavior and known threats. The Intrusion Detection System (IDS) will help you tackle ongoing attacks, and the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) lets you block incoming attacks.
To some extent, the VPN network restricts access to a few things for user security. But, a full-fledged firewall solution always helps.
There are on-premise options and cloud-based firewalls. For remote workers, cloud-based firewalls are the best. It lets the organization quickly scale up the network security protections without special efforts.
6. Using Password Manager and Multi-Factor Authentication
In general, everyone should use a password manager. For businesses, sharing and securing passwords takes priority.
A password manager should guarantee that you use strong passwords as well. To top it off, using multifactor authentication adds an enhanced layer of security even if an attacker manages to breach your network. This ensures that user accounts and critical access in a network have been secured.
7. Encrypting and Backing Up the Data
To prepare for the worst, you must at least protect your data. You can follow our article on encrypting files to get started—spoiler alert: it is pretty easy.
In addition to the encryption, you must have a backup of your data. It is preferable if you can have an off-site backup configured.
So, in case of a breach, you do not need to worry about recovering the data because the encrypted files will not be of any value to the attackers.
8. Using Secure Software
It does not matter whether you use enterprise-grade protection unless your applications are secure.
To ensure your security works, you must know that your applications are naturally secure. If that is the case, attackers will be reluctant to try getting into your network for nefarious activities.
9. Educate Your Employees
It may not be enough to enforce security policies if the employees or users do not know what they are doing.
For instance, a simple email can compromise your entire network if someone falls for it. So, with the basic training for standard security practices, you and your users can prevent common attacks like phishing.
10. Identity Access and Management
Identity Access and Management (IAM) is a framework for managing users, passwords, and access levels.
The framework should let you automate all you have with the technologies and policies instead of manual procedures. While it makes things easy, it also reduces the cost of improving the security of your business.
Hassle-Free Operations With Secure Remote Access
When it comes to remote operations, if you don’t take the proper measures, it can disrupt the entire access leading to all kinds of trouble. Of course, remote access gives convenience but knowing about the right tools and solutions should improve the experience for users.
It can be overwhelming to secure remote access, but taking one step at a time should help ensure a peaceful work environment. As the demand for remote work grows, you will constantly find new solutions to ease the process. It would be best if you always explore more unique options to secure remote access while keeping things easy and convenient.